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Myroslav Slaboshpytskyi | 2014 | 130 MINS
A deaf boy joins a boarding school for similar children. All the actors are deaf, and the film makes no use of any vocal language nor even subtitles, only sign language throughout. This may quite well be a first for a feature film of fiction… and it works!

In Detail

‘The Tribe’ is one of the most unsettling films of the year. It is set at a boarding school for the deaf in Kiev, where anarchy prevails. There are no words, subtitles, or even a score. The hearing viewer is left to interpret the violent chaos without auditory clues, presenting a unique challenge in understanding the narrative and the motivations of the characters.

We are left to confusedly construe scenarios by their actions, and as such, are provided some insight into the helpless isolation of the deaf. As a film, ‘The Tribe’ may be interpreted in various ways: as a political allegory for the Ukraine, as a discourse on communication through violence, or as an allegory to the impotence experienced by minority groups. Regardless, there are scenes that are shockingly disturbing, and the direction is unflinching. An extraordinary film.

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