Country: Ukraine / Netherlands
Movie Review: Cannes’ last sensation, “The Tribe”, is a praiseworthy, brutal piece of speechless cinema, a product of the mind of first-time writer-director, Miroslav Slaboshpitsky. Set in a sunless Ukrainian city, the drama follows a deaf-mute teenager who arrives at a specialized boarding school for people in the same conditions, being immediately incorporated in a ruthless gang of students dedicated to robbery and prostitution. Unsurprisingly, the latter activity has a teacher as the leader, and soon the newcomer is assigned to pimp two of the teen girls that are used to beat the truck parking lot during nighttime. He slowly gains the trust of his fellows but irredeemably falls for one of the prostitutes. When this girl realizes her pregnancy, no other option is ever considered beyond the abortion, which is done in a private house by an austere, creepy woman. This is probably the most disturbing scene of the film (disputing with the maniacal finale), where in a horrible environment and with precarious sanitary conditions, she’s tied with ropes like an animal, bravely enduring the pain inflicted on her. The young man, madly in love, starts stealing in order to pay for her time, putting himself in a perilous position. The situation reaches even bigger proportions after he realizes she’s about to be taken to Italy. As a sign language film, communication was never a problem in “The Tribe”, which was very perceptible, and even persuasive on the dramatic level. There are no words to express how brilliant was the deaf-mute cast, so genuine and powerful at all levels. Mr. Slaboshpitsky sparked confidence, filming with insistent assertiveness, and revealing a shocking realism, bestial violence, and raw sex scenes in its plenitude. Words? For what?