“The Tribe” – A Riveting Film about Disabilities

the-tribeMovies of 2014 are among the most diverse to hit theaters in a long time. There are action, love stories, comedies, martial arts, and more but two of the most impressive movies this year involve storylines about disabilities. The first, titled Blind, is directed by the talented Eskil Vogt and the second, The Tribe, a Miroslav Slaboshpitsky film. Although both of these films are exceptional, the one that movie enthusiasts should not overlook is The Tribe.

This Ukrainian film covers a very difficult but important topic – deaf children. After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, The Tribe won numerous awards. Although educational and disturbing, the movie is powerful. Presented entirely in sign language without the aid of translation, dialogue, or subtitles, even people without knowledge of sign language find themselves immersed in the story but for deaf people, this film really hits home.

Critics agree that The Tribe is a must-see movie but also warn viewers of several scenes difficult to watch. However, the use of sign language to communicate is what makes this film so extraordinary. Because of this, the message of the film is conveyed in a way that takes hearing and non-hearing viewers alike off guard. Feelings and emotions expressed by the hands and body help heighten the movie’s suspense.

The Tribe is about a group of children from the Ukraine who attend a special school for the deaf. Unlike normal teenagers who sneak out to drink and smoke pot, these kids must escape locked doors both day and night to participate in far more dangerous and illicit activities. The boys within the group actually prostitute out two of the deaf girls and because of these activities, they are also involved with robberies, assaults, fighting, and more.

In real life, the Ukraine has gone through some very troubling times recently, something captured in the film. To get away from the poverty and corruption of the Ukraine, but also watchful eyes at the deaf school, the kids are on a mission to escape to a better life, although they go about it wrong.

The Tribe challenges moviegoers to relate to the film with its poignant story and being completely in sign language, to understand without spoken words. There are also some incredible cinematography portions of the movie that speak volumes to the overall quality. The Tribe is unique, thought-provoking, and bold.