One of the most audacious and acclaimed debut films of recent years, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s astounding drama – sensationally told in unsubtitled sign language – follows Sergey, a new arrival at a school for young deaf people. Light years away from the kinds of benevolent institutions we usually see on screen, this school is a nightmarish world of ruthless cliques, gangs and hard currencies, where authority is entirely absent and chaos and criminality reign. Despite his early savvy, Sergey oversteps the mark when he falls for a young prostitute he’s assigned to pimp.
Slaboshpytskiy’s daring eschewal of subtitles ensures we’re plunged completely into this unforgiving world from the outset. The use of long, unbroken and expertly staged long takes is also highly accomplished for a debut filmmaker. Although The Tribe is an uncompromising work, it is a highly rewarding one with unexpected moments of tenderness; a film which posits Slaboshpytskiy as a significant new voice in world cinema.