Love and hate need no translation. A smash success at Cannes, this stunning film focuses on a gang of deaf students whose extra-curricular activities include robbery, prostitution and aggravated assault.

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s audacious debut is not only a compelling and confrontational drama, with a cast of deaf actors, no subtitles or voice-over, it’s also an innovative rethinking of cinema’s language of sight and sound. Featuring a superb cast of young deaf performers, The Tribe is set in a boarding school for young deaf people, where new arrival Sergey is drawn into an institutional system of organised crime, involving robbery and prostitution. But he crosses a dangerous line when he falls for Anna, one of the girls to whom he’s assigned as pimp. The actors communicate in Ukranian sign language – anecdotally, users of western European sign languages may understand about 20% of it.

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Reviews

Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s audacious debut is not only a compelling and confrontational drama, with a cast of deaf actors, no subtitles or voice-over, it’s also an innovative rethinking of cinema’s language of sight and sound. Featuring a superb cast of young deaf performers, The Tribe is set in a boarding school for young deaf people, where new arrival Sergey is drawn into an institutional system of organised crime, involving robbery and prostitution. But he crosses a dangerous line when he falls for Anna, one of the girls to whom he’s assigned as pimp. The actors communicate in Ukranian sign language - anecdotally, users of western European sign languages may understand about 20% of it.
Dazzlingly executed and shot, it is one of the outstanding discoveries of 2014
Compelling, upsetting, brutal and brilliant, The Tribe is one of the best works of cinema of the year - a familiar template recreated in what, for most, will be an entirely new world.