Thursday, March 10, 2016

'The Tribe' BD: Awards Sweeping Ukrainian Sign Language Opus on Teen Dystopia

Product Details
The March 8, 2016 VOD.DVD/Blu-Ray releases of the double-digit awards winning 2014 Ukrainian drama "The Tribe"  from Drafthouse Films allows a chance to watch what truly will be the most unique film that you will ever watch. The dialogue entirely being in sign language (and there not being any voice translations or subtitles) is only the tip of the iceberg.

The aforementioned accolades include three awards at the Cannes Film Festival, a British Film Institute Award, and and American Film Institute Award. This reflects the performances of the amateur cast and the universal themes of the film.

The following YouTube clip of the "Tribe" trailer also uses shows that conveying the awesomeness of the film does not require words.


The film opens with teenage Sergey arriving at a Ukrainian school for the deaf only to have the leaders of the titular clan quickly torment and otherwise haze him. In other words, treat him just like the new kid at any type of high school anyplace in the developed world. This initiation extends beyond standard physical and (presumed) verbal bullying to pushing Sergey into the dorm room of the future love of his life and her roommate when one of them is half naked.

The portion of "Tribe" that shows that the movie is not just another teen movie involves Sergey being drawn into the robbery, bribery, and prostitution in which his fellow future leaders are involved. The gritty form of the world's oldest profession involves pimping the aforementioned female students at a local truck stop. The filmmakers also treat us to a horribly graphic scene that depicts the consequences of being promiscuous.

Sergey having a tough time adjusting to thug life creates conflict with his new friends and colleagues that drives much of the well-paced (and easily followed) drama in the film. The unexpected but understandable climax both is true to the classic Hollywood model of justice and shows that everyone has his or her breaking point.

Presenting all this via sign language in a manner that those of us who do not understand can largely follow pulls off a nearly impossible feat. It further increases empathy for deaf folks who must follow traditional films without the benefits of lip-reading skills and/or subtitles.

The copious extras include a director's commentary, the 2010 short film "Deafness" by the director, and an interview with an actress from the film.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Tribe" is encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.