Review: The Tribe (2014)


Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe – one of the most discussed films so far this year – is a brutal, audacious and phenomenal drama that features no dialogue or subtitles. Set in a decrepit boarding school for deaf teens, the film unravels as new student Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko) endeavours to integrate a new culture. The narrative, which observes a steady rise through the ranks, is easy enough to follow, even if it is uncomfortable every step of the way. Slaboshpytskiy forces the audience to surrender themselves to the vivid world – a painful and corrupt environment where a life of crime, prostitution and drugs is the only route of survival. Valentyn Vasyanovych’s measured cinematography acts as the conductor; his style opting for mood over structure. The actors, none of whom have prior experience, add to the raw power – many of them enduring nightmarish scenes few would dare to think of for the films benefit. The Tribe is, then, a difficult watch, but a profound one that burrows deep into the mind where it remains for days.

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