FFF 2015 Day 6 The Tribe

If You Find This Photo Offensive, You Will Find the Movie Even More So!

If You Find This Photo Offensive, You Will Find the Movie Even More So!

The Tribe
This film was shot in the Ukraine. There were no spoken words, as it was done completely in sign language. There was no translation, no subtitles, no voice overs. There was no accompanying music. The only sounds you heard were the crunch of feet in the snow, traffic in the background, the occasional grunts from the actors and, mostly, eerie silence.

The film did not need anything else.

This bold, experimental film portrayed a brutal side of life in the Ukraine. Young hearing impaired students at a badly run down school have a rough hierarchy, a tribe-like mentality, that rises all the way through the teachers and staff. Young females are forced into prostitution. Young males rob, swindle and pimp. Fights are savage and the weak are mocked and picked on.

Without giving too much away, I will share that there are brutal scenes of explicit sexual encounters, back alley medical procedures, violent attacks and very few opportunities to laugh. Yet for two hours, tired as I was, I could not take my eyes off the screen. There was raw energy and an honesty about this film. Although one movie goer felt there was some gratuitous scenes, I did not experience that. I felt as though every action, each beat, furthered the story.

As for not being privy to the dialogue, I discovered an interesting phenomenon; It was as if I was hearing the dialogue of the movie several minutes after the scene itself was completed as the action of subsequent scenes helped me understand what was being said in previous scenes. This had the effect of forcing me to concentrate on the movie with more intensity than normal–resulting in an intense awareness not normally experienced when watching a movie.

I’ve heard it said the other senses of a blind person become more acute because of the loss of sight. In many ways, my experience of this film, with no verbal dialogue or background music, was heightened in a similar way. I don’t know that I want to see it again. But I’m glad I saw it the first time.

Reactions From the Audience
“I couldn’t hear anything,” a film goer tersely states.


“Not for me, a pretentious failed experiment,” says another movie goer. When I ask how he would like to be identified for the blog, he replies, “Cameron Meier from the Orlando Weekly.” I think to myself, “I don’t believe he’s going to give it a good review!”

“I really enjoyed it. I did.  I was a little worried about it,” says UCF student Kelly Nettleton. When I tell her that I was surprised to see a young lady attending a film like this all by herself, she says, “It was hard to convince someone to go to it when you give them the description.”

“Pretty intense,” say Jim Gunshanan.

Ellie Hodgkins adds, “You know the saying, ‘Once is enough.’ It’s like Requiem For a Dream where you want to see it once. And you saw it…”

“And you don’t ever have to see it again,” chimes in Jim. “Would you recommend other people to see it?” I inquire. “Some people,” he says. “Select audience,” she adds. “You probably have to be pretty careful in considering who I would recommend it to,” he continues.

“Some of it was gratuitous, I think. For shock effect. But it did make me think…” muses Jennifer as she exits the theatre with her faithful, trusty male companion. She goes on to speak about several elements of the movie that I can’t repeat for fear of being a spoiler. I ask her if she recommends this film. “I knew what I was coming into and I’m not easily shocked, obviously” she begins. “That’s tough…Yes…Let’s go with the, ‘Yes’!”

As often happens during the FFF, Mrs. LanceAround and I share a wonderful conversation with her and her faithful, trusty male companion as we walk to our cars in the parking lot. She tells us of an Independent Theatre in Lakeland that we had never been to. When they lived there, they went to it almost every week. Now they live in Winter Park and are Enzian faithfuls.

Mrs. LanceAround and I feel like we’ve made new friends. We look forward to seeing them during other movies. These are the experiences that make going to FFF so much richer than just going to see an ordinary movie at an ordinary movie theatre.


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