The Tribe (Plemya) (Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, 2014): Ukraine

Reviewed by Dane Angus. Viewed in Hollywood at the AFI Fest 2014


The film The Tribe, was one of the most unique films I have ever seen! This movie tells the story of a group of deaf teenagers in Ukraine that live under certain rules and conditions that most teenagers could not ever imagine. Stealing, robbing, beating, and prostituting their way through life to make a quick buck in order to survive, the newest member of the group soon falls in love with the main female prostitute and these new found feelings create a snowball effect for bad news to come.

The Tribe has almost no talking in the entire film and the main characters speak using Ukrainian Sign Language. Also, there are no subtitles in the film. So the viewers are left to interpret to the best of their abilities using visual and audio queues and by reading the emotions and actions carried out by the actors. I really enjoyed this film and it was such a new movie viewing experience since there was no talking the entire film! Director, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky, does an awesome job with this one. The whole vibe of the film is very gritty and intense. It contains an immense number of long camera shots, continuous shots, and interesting tracking shots that gave the audience an interesting full view of the surroundings of the characters in every scene. I really admire Slaboshpitsky’s method in the film. The amplified sounds and noises also added to the grit and feeling felt by the audience. The film contains a light azule blue color in almost every scene as well which symbolizes the ambitions and goals of the main male character.

If you like films that are able to communicate a very intense story of murder, sex, drugs, and violence all without any speaking, then this is certainly the film for you! I will admit the film is hard to sit through at times, but in a good way. I was extremely impressed with the acting and sincerity of the people on screen. The whole production of this film were well done in my opinion.

The viewers are shocked at the end of the film as the goals of the main character become more complicated, he decides to brutally kill his fellow “gang-brothers” as the stress becomes to much for him. The ending will leave you wanting more and the story will not slip from your mind for a few weeks! I had an amazing experience watching this film, its worth the time and effort.

About this entry