[Marxism] Fwd: The Tribe | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Feb 24 11:17:44 MST 2016

(I just got email from the distribution company that this fascinating 
film is available in VOD now.)

In my freshman year at Bard College in 1961, I took a writer’s workshop 
with celebrated beat poet Robert Kelly who gave an assignment that all 
of us had trouble with, namely to write a short story without any human 
beings as characters. It was obviously some sort of technical challenge 
that we had trouble wrapping our heads around, even if it perhaps was 
designed to get us to think outside the box.

That was my first reaction to “The Tribe”, a Ukrainian film that opens 
tomorrow at the Film Forum in NY. I knew that the characters are deaf 
teenagers in a boarding school in Kiev but I hadn’t anticipated what was 
in store for me as the film started at a press screening. It began with 
this announcement:

"This film is in sign-language. There are no subtitles or voice-over."

What could possibly have made the director Myroslav Slaboshpytskiiy 
decide to take this approach? To rise to a technical challenge of making 
a “silent movie” that defied the audience to not understand a single 
word being exchanged by the characters? My initial reaction was to bolt 
from my seat and return home but since I had traveled almost an hour 
from my Upper East Side apartment to the Film Forum in Soho, I sighed 
and decided to stick it out.


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