The Tribe

The Tribe ★★★★½

A cinema experience unlike anything I've felt before; a packed theater watching in devout silence a film whose mode of interpretation has itself been silenced. We're meant to understand what's happening, but at times we can only interpret fragments which make the whole all the more unsettling.

Like watching a tragedy happen to people you sorta know, but not deeply. You know what's happening, yet feel unsubstantiated and powerless to interfere. The formal structure deeply emphasizes this, with slightly distanced long takes that offer both intimacy and idleness. The actors' faces are at times shrouded. It takes some time to familiarize ourselves with people we see often enough, but don't know personally, not even their names. Deafness does feed into theme, but that casual distance is what the film is about, and it's something that can be universal beyond language and national barriers.