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The Tribe

THE TRIBE depicts the world of a gang in charge of a prostitution ring at a deaf-mute school. The extremely violent and multiple award winning film is a purely visual experience: it is filmed in Ukrainian sign language and there are no subtitles.

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A school gang film in Ukrainian sign language with no subtitles: THE TRIBE is most definitely a unique experience. There are no problems understanding what unfolds because the plot is easy to surmise - a boy goes to a new school for the hearing impaired and must assert himself within the ruling school gang. Sergey climbs up the ladder. He begins with easy thefts in train cabins and moves on to brutal armed robbery on the street and becoming the guard of the girls who are being pimped out by the gang. A conflict arises when one of the young prostitutes wants more than quick sex in exchange for money. THE TRIBE depicts a morally bankrupt society in which authority figures are either absent or connected to the crimes. Director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy had made a film with its own, extremely physical film language. The camera uses cleverly choreographed long shots or full shots with long takes and steadycam sequences. It is technically brilliant and creates new and distressing images. The decision to not have subtitles means that viewers are left out of the loop but also hints at the banality of the film's dialogue. Slaboshpytskiy aims for a pure and visual kind of film. THE TRIBE is an admirable experiment, yet there are a few points of criticism: the choreography leads to a strange heightening of what are, in actuality, realistic stills which overloads the scenes with surreal metaphors. The hearing impaired become a metaphor once again, which is often what happens to people with disabilities when they do not serve a film in other ways. They are stand-ins for a brutal and de facto "deaf and dumb" society.

Tom Dorow (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Original title: Plemya
UA/NL 2014, 132 min
Genre: Drama
Director: Myroslav Slaboshpitsky
Author: Myroslav Slaboshpitsky
Distributor: REM - Rapid Eye Movies
Cast: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy
FSK: 16
Release: 15.10.2015

Website

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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