The Tribe

Institute History

  • 2015 Sundance Film Festival


Since premiering at the Critics’ Week at Cannes to overwhelming acclaim and multiple awards, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’sThe Tribe has stunned audiences and won prizes at festivals around the world for boldly subverting expectations of what cinema should look and sound like.

Sergey, a new student at a boarding school for the deaf, must navigate through the institution’s social hierarchy, led by a gang of students reveling in crime and prostitution. Initially shunned, he is eventually initiated into the crew, inheriting the role of pimp to two giddy best friends. After saving up money for a sexual encounter with Anna (notable both for its explicit nature and cinematographic restraint), Sergey begins to fall in love, risking the rest of the tribe’s wrath.

Performed entirely in sign language and eschewing audience comforts like subtitles or a musical score, The Tribe is often near-silent, but its sound design is exquisitely performed to fully immerse us in the world of these characters, transcending our alienation through the intense performances of a deaf non-professional cast. As audacious and exhilarating as it is chilling and brutal, director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s feature debut is a remarkable accomplishment and wildly unique filmgoing experience. —H.Z.

— Heidi Zwicker

Screening Details

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