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The Tribe

The Tribe

Ukraine 2014 - with Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova, Rosa Babiy, Alexander Dsiadevich ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Plemya
Direction:Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Cinema release:15.10.2015
Production country:Ukraine 2014
Running time:Approx. 132 min.
Rated:From 16 years
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When Sergey (Grigoriy Fesenko) comes to a boarding school for the deaf, he should actually feel safe here. But he soon has to realize that bullying, violence, theft and forced prostitution are the order of the day here. In order to survive in this environment, he joins the gang The Tribe. From then on, Sergey has to take part in robberies, brawls and pimping in order to earn respect among the youth. He succeeds very well until he falls in love with Anna (Yana Novikova), whom he wants to free from prostitution. And in doing so, he breaks the gang's code.

The Tribe is a real challenge for the viewer. It starts with director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy's decision to shoot the film entirely in (Ukrainian) sign language, without even a spoken sentence or subtitles. This makes it a bit difficult, especially at the beginning, but not impossible to follow the story. However, this is then extremely hard, dreary and frustrating, so that you as a viewer are emotionally pulled down more and more, before the whole thing culminates in an extremely violent, uncompromising and disturbing finale. This is extremely hard stuff that you are confronted with here.

It's a shame that Slaboshpytskiy doesn't seem to be satisfied with this. With all his might he seems to try to make his film as inaccessible and unwieldy as possible. There is no other way to explain the many unnecessarily long takes. There is no need for multiple minutes of watching the guys chosen as pimps go from truck to truck in a parking lot to offer the girls' services to the drivers. Other almost static shots, the point of which becomes obvious after only a few moments, are also an unnecessary strain on the audience's patience. The story and the lack of dialogue are challenging enough, does the extremely tough staging have to be as well? Is it really necessary to want to stand out so doggedly from anything remotely entertainment or mainstream?

May be that for some viewers and critics, this is exactly what makes the film a great work of art. But in fact, the only real effect is to make what is in itself an extremely brave production and a stirring story accessible to an even smaller audience than it already is. And that's a real shame. Because the concentrated hardness that lies here in the authenticity of the images and in the play of the actors is cinema of the particularly intense variety, which can actually be warmly recommended to all lovers of challenging program cinema. For here it becomes clear what power images alone can have when they are reduced to the essential. The completely unnecessary and unbearably protracted production is, however, so devastating in its dreariness that only a small niche audience is likely to be exposed to it. It's a pity when cinema that is so strong in itself has to suffer so much under a supposedly artistic claim. Therefore, there is also only one: with deductions worth seeing!

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "The Tribe (Ukraine 2014)"
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