Ukrainian filmmaker Myroslav Slaboshpytsky’s feature debut, “The Tribe,” will screen at Cannes next week. The film is an extraordinary piece of cinematic storytelling — told entirely through sign language, devoid of subtitles.
“The Tribe” takes place at a boarding school for the deaf and centers on a young man struggling to find his place among the social hierarchy.
For the film’s first trailer, which you can check out below, Slaboshpytsky provides a dramatic introduction to the narrative and characters — rhythmically punctuated by title cards that explain the reasoning behind his decision to abstain from including dialogue and subtitles: “because for Love and Hatred, You Don’t Need Translation.”
Despite the absence of dialogue, Slaboshpytsky’s use of diegetic sound is chilling — particularly towards the end of the trailer where title cards with single words appear in succession to form the phrase: “You Don’t Need Translation,” perfectly choreographed to a violent banging that we assume to be a head against a hard surface.
Watch the full trailer below:
Editor’s note: This trailer has been updated with a newer version.