Tribe, The (2014): Cannes Fest Critics Weeks Winner

cannes_2014_poster“The Tribe,” the striking debut feature of the talented Ukrainian scribe-director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy, won the top prize of the Critics Week sidebar at the 2014 Cannes Film Fest.

In a year of many good films but few discoveries, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy established himself as a major talent to watch. It is easily one of the three or four most interesting films I saw in Cannes this year.

“The Tribe” received three awards: the top Nespresso Grand Prize, the Revelation Prize, and a newly-launched French distribution grant from the Fondation Gan.

A mixture of uncompromising realism, laced with unexpected comedic and even erotic overtones, “The Tribe” is a daring and challenging film that deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Slaboshpytskiy had made an impression in 2012 with his short, “Nuclear Waste,” which won a Locarno Silver Leopard.   Two other Slaboshpytskiy shorts, “Deafness,” and “Diagnosis,” competed at the Berlin Film Fest.

The protagonist of “The Tribe” is a teenager named Sergey (Grigory Fesenko), a new student at the school, who shockingly discovers that the place is dominated by a teen gang named the Tribe, which practices gangsterism and prostitution.  Quickly rising in its ranks, Sergey falls for one of the prostitutes, Anya (beautifully played by Yana Novikova), which breaks the strict rules of the Tribe.  Struggling with conflicting demands, Sergey has to make tough choices–or else…..

Using a cast of young deaf-mute non-professionals, “The Tribe” was shot by Valentyn Vasyanovych with Steadicam cinematography.

The film is produced by Arthouse Traffic, Ukraine’s leading arthouse distributor, and the Ukraine’s Garmata Film.