The Tribe was my favorite movie of last year. It is such a pure cinematic experience to be transported into a world where we are truly outsiders and we have to keep up. Now it’s great to see those harrowing long takes unfold in Blu-ray HD quality. The widescreen frame remains crisp. The colors are not too bright, which is appropriate for a stark crime drama. You can tell when a yellow bus drives by that it’s not going to be about the Blu-ray colors, but the detail in the graffiti laden brick is palpable. You can see sharp black silhouettes of the gang at night, and you can see the depth of the long hallways.
I always like to do homework after I discover filmmakers at festivals, but the only homework I can do on writer/director Miroslav Slaboshpitsky is his short films. Deafness, included on this Blu-ray, is rough but he’s practicing choreographing single takes and conveying dialogue in sign. In a car you can see cop speaking louder as if a deaf kid will hear him, but we only hear the engine outside. It’s fun to see a few new scenarios that didn’t make it into The Tribe or maybe he just didn’t want to repeat them.
Yana Novikova’s interview is presented in complete silence, with no ambient noise whatsoever. Her signing is subtitled but we can see all of her expressive gestures. It really gives you a sense of a vivacious talent, and covers a lot of what you’ll want to hear about the film. She brings up that scene on her own.
The commentary sounds like a tape recording, or maybe a digital recording on the lowest quality setting. It was recorded at Sundance but it is scene specific. Devin Faraci keeps the commentary moving. During a slow patch, he remembers a comment he heard so he asks Slaboshpitsky a question to keep him talking until the next sequence.
As promised by Slaboshpitsky, there are no English subtitles on the Blu-ray, except for descriptions of non dialogue audio. The Tribe must be experienced as a silent movie. If one so happens to speak Ukranian sign, then they get to see a different movie. For most American Blu-ray owners, they should go on the ride with The Tribe.