The Tribe

The Tribe ★★★★

Few directorial debuts in recent memory leave quite such a stark impression as Ukrainian newcomer Miroslav Slaboshpitsky’s bleak, daring and resonant The Tribe. Set at a boarding school for deaf-mute children, the film follows a group of youths who have taken to fending for themselves in a manner both feral (as the title suggests) and ruthlessly shrewd, capitalising on whatever they have at their disposal, be it opportunistic muggings or the prostitution of their own to indiscriminate truckers. The supervising adults are either absent or are themselves enablers, in on the take. So far so gruelling. Slaboshpitsky’s audacity comes from his decision to play all two-hours and change of The Tribe without subtitles, inter-titles or other forms of translation. He therefore has to convey his tale of youth in revolt on purely visual terms. Unless you’re lightning-quick and savvy with your signing, you’ll have to rely on the director’s gift as a storyteller to make it through.

My full review is here: