Ukrainian film The Tribe has quietly been winning praise as a unique and poetic film. Winner of multiple 2014 Cannes Film Festival Awards (including the coveted Critics’ Week Grand Prix), Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy‘s The Tribe is an undeniably original and intense feature debut set in the insular world of a Ukrainian high school for the deaf. The Tribe unfolds through the non-verbal acting and sign language from a cast of deaf, non-professional actors—with no need for subtitles or voice over––resulting in a unique, never-before-experienced cinematic event that engages the audience on a new sensory level.
Teenage Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko), a new student at the boarding school, realizes immediately that he must prove himself worthy to be brought under the protective wing of the school gang’s leader to survive unscathed. After an indoctrination of harmless initiation pranks and rites, Sergey’s new-found clique soon introduces him to their common activities of robbery, bribery and prostitution. At first assimilating seamlessly into his new role in the tribe, he finds himself compromised as he begins to fall in love with his female classmate—and one of the gang’s escorts—triggering a sequence of stunningly diabolical events.