Director: Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Starring: Grigoriy Fesenko, Yana Novikova
Ukraine, 2014, 2 hours 15 minutes, subtitles
Conducted entirely in sign language with no subtitles, voice over explanation, or music, this is filmmaking stripped to the bone that like Becket or Peter Brook reveals the universal language of social control. When new student Sergey arrives in a crumbling state boarding school for deaf adolescents in Kiev he is quickly inducted into a world run by violent bullies. With the connivance of the school authorities robbery, prostitution and crime are rife. When Sergey falls in love he’s set for an inevitable confrontation with those that rule his world. Dazzlingly executed and hugely original, with startling use of intense sexuality and violence, this is a powerful, audacious rethinking of cinema’s language of sight and sound.
“What an intriguing film.” Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
Winner of 13 Festival Awards including Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2014
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