Set in a boarding school for the deaf, The Tribe weaves an authentic tale of love and hate without ever uttering a spoken word. The film follows a teenage transfer to the school as he finds himself swallowed up in a brutal culture of sex, crime, and violence. The typical teenage travails are experienced here in the depressed surrounds of poverty-stricken Ukraine, and far from the oversight of attentive parents or scrupulous supervisors.
Slaboshpytsky’s stunning feature debut declines to subtitle the sign language used by all characters. Instead, the angst and longing of adolescent years play out on the faces and and through the actions of the characters, all portrayed by deaf actors. The viewing experience is unique, but overwhelmingly successful, as reflected by the film’s success at the 53rd Cannes Critics Week, where it picked up multiple prizes. Through his precise experimentation with the art of subtraction, Slaboshpytsky signals the arrival of a powerful new voice in world cinema.
“The Tribe has no spoken dialogue whatsoever, but that doesn’t stop it from making a bold and provocatively loud statement. An unprecedented cinematic accomplishment” – Indiewire
“The scope and ambition of the narrative propels it to something more grandiose like The Godfather. Groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind experience” – The Film Stage
“A formally audacious coup de cinema…in finding its own bold cinematic language The Tribe feels like something unmistakably, radically new”- Variety