The Tribe

Deaf mute Sergey enters a specialized boarding school for deaf-and-dumb. In this new place, he needs to find his way through the hierarchy of the school’s network dealing with crimes and prostitution, the Tribe. By taking part of several robberies, he gets propelled higher into the organization. Then he meets one of the Chief’s concubines Anya, and unwillingly breaks all the unwritten rules of the tribe.


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  • ★★★★ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd

    I've never been so glad not to be fluent in Ukrainian sign language. a fascinating reconfiguring of silent cinema modes, THE TRIBE does remarkable things with deep focus, however indebted to the Romanian New Wave those techniques might be. not entirely sure that the film had to be *that* brutal (at times it feels like an affect), but it certainly lubricates this bracingly unique portrait of sub-worlds and the price of escaping from them.

  • ★★★★ review by Larry H on Letterboxd

    Entirely composed of 34 long take scenes The Tribe is irresistibly raw and brutal. Sergey is a newbie at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf and mute. Within hours of arriving at the school he is promptly and severely bullied by other students. He fights back and is rewarded by becoming part of the gang. He commits his fair share of robberies, pimping and vicious shake-downs without remorse or regret. This is until he becomes enamored with Anna, a fellow student by day and part of his pimping responsibilities at night.

    The real kicker is that the film is as quiet as its characters. There is no dialogue, no score, no soundtrack, and no subtitles for the sign language in which the characters use to communicate with each other. This makes all of the madness on screen appear even more startling than it already is. When fights break out within in school every punch, kick, and grunt echoes through the scenery as a symphony of violence.

    The substantial troubles and desperations of these young students is treated with shocking indifference, selfishness and disturbing disconnection by everyone involved. The lack of words puts the audience deeper into the emotions of the characters. The film adeptly provides the experience as if one is standing in their shoes. I fled with them in the night, wandered through abandoned carnival rides and truck stops with them, and felt their desperation and hunger to survive in the face of a society that abandons them. Slow moving yet with power and impact that is deeply felt.

    Added to 2014 Ranked

  • ★★★★½ review by Enfant du Siècle on Letterboxd

    A group of deaf teenagers run a boarding school instigating violence, crime and prostitution in this remarkable debut by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. It's crude depiction of violence and human behaviour offers a brutal and disturbing portrayal of modern Ukraine.

    The visual aspects, as expected in a contemporary silent film, are of the highest quality: the shots are beautifully composed, a detailed production design and rich cinematography. In addition, the performances from the ensemble cast, based primarily on sign and body language, are rich and powerful.

    Plemya is an ambitious and bold piece of cinema that will not leave you indifferent.

  • ★★★★ review by Daniil333 on Letterboxd

    Well this is certainly not a feel good movie!

  • ★★★★ review by Simon Ramshaw on Letterboxd


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