The Tribe Plemya Film ReviewCalling to mind controversial films like Gaspar Noé's Irreversible (2002) or Harmony Korine's Gummo (1997) and Kids (1995), The Tribe can be construed by some as a film of senseless depravity. Over the course of two hours, it is unrelenting as it bleakly follows the lives of an isolated group of deaf-mute schoolchildren that perpetuate a hierarchical system of bullying, violence, and prostitution within the confines of their school and its adjacent living quarters. The film boasts proudly that no spoken words and no subtitles are necessary to convey its themes of love and hate -- and in this regard, The Tribe is, from the get-go, unlike any other. Bold and polarizing, it wordlessly pulls one deep into its trenches, fictionalizing teenage depravity in the cold, rough climate of post-Soviet Ukraine.
This film was seen as a part of Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) 2015

 

February 14th is known to many -- whether they are coupled or single, in love or without it -- as a day for amorous celebration, through intimate experiences and the exchange of roses, chocolates, and kisses. But beyond the major consumer holiday of Valentine's Day lies a global activist movement of a similar name, called V-Day. Violence against women and girls can take many forms, and V-Day draws special attention to rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation, and sex slavery through a worldwide network of regionally-supported performances, documentaries, plays, rallies, and a variety of other events.
To call attention to this cause in our own way, we have decided to use the delicate work of Romanian and United Kingdom photographer Dana Popa as a foundational point. After learning of the horrible realities of the sex trafficking trade, Popa set about to unveil the stories of its former victims, all of whom were around seventeen years of age and in various stages of recovery when Popa met them. The result of Popa's genuine quest was a piercing series called not Natasha, “Natasha" being the generic name given to Eastern European sex slaves. Many series about sensitive topics shock one into sympathy. Not so with not Natasha; its images are often profound in the most mundane of ways, focusing not only on the women themselves but on the things that they leave behind -- while, in Popa's own words, capturing "a glimpse of their souls". It is beyond the photos themselves where the heart-breaking tales often lie, in the form of deception and betrayal from former lovers, neighbors, and friends, and of societies that allow women to be sacrificed to patterns of abuse and pain. In the full Q&A interview to follow, Popa recounts incredible stories -- some of which are difficult to believe -- while motivating us with powerful imagery. For more details on how you can be involved in V-Day events, please visit their website, or see more of Popa's work on her website.
(17 IMAGES TOTAL)
"This work is dedicated to Dalia and all the girls who allowed me to have a glimpse of their souls and dig up a hidden, painful past. I hope I did it in the most delicate way."

 

What circumstances led you to the not Natasha project? What triggered my work was purely finding out what sex trafficking really means. At the time, there was not much visual coverage of the illegal trade. Sex trafficking is the most profitable illegal business since the 1989 fall of the Soviet Union; it's a form of violence against women from my society. Little do people realise what this illegal trade is and how big and profitable it has become. So I decided to try and get a closer look at sex trafficking and record what it means for the women to survive sexual slavery. I chose to have a glimpse of their souls -- which at the time seemed very difficult to do, but that is what I was most interested in. After having heard their stories, I wanted to look at their traces -- at what women who had disappeared for years and who are believed to be trafficked and sexually enslaved leave behind. This became essential angle and part of the narrative. After being involved with this project I realised that its beginnings might have been triggered by my interest and knowledge of the woman's position in societies like the one I was born in. I acknowledge this story as a way of standing up against the societies that know what happens to their women and hide it without even doing anything about it.

 

In Family Portrait In Black And White, middle-aged single mother Olga Nenya decides to brave social stigmas to foster 17 orphans, many of whom are Ukranian-African. As the film opens, one sees third-party interviews with Ukranian skinheads that immediately couch the film in a setting of acial discrimination. Given the film's title, its synopsis, and these opening sequences, one expects the entire film to be about the struggles of foster parenting in a mixed race family -- but this expectation would be wrong. Nenya and her seventeen foster children live and work on a farm, slightly removed from the mainstay of Ukranian society. Through the use of minor anecdotes, the film asserts time and time again that racism and discrimination are wildly prevalent in Ukraine -- but this narrative is not the primary focus. The film is, in fact, less sociological than it is an intimate look at the psychology of foster family life and the complexities of motherhood both outwardly inflected upon Nenya, and self-inflicted and self-perpetuated.

 

Directed by Julia Ivanova

 

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previes for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see the Docsfest for all documentary films presented.

 


AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY United States Directed by Alison Klayman
A feature-length documentary about Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, an influential and ground-breaking liberal artist considered a "God of Love" or the "Beijing Andy Warhol." He controversially goes as far as giving the middle finger to the Motherland and telling it, "Fuck you." May 18th @ 6:30pm, AMC Pacific Place 11 May 19th @ 4:00pm, AMC Pacific Place 11

 

Kvitnu -- high blood pressure music label, started in 2006, based in Kyiv, Ukraine. Kvitnu's International roster includes such artists as Zavoloka, Kotra, Sturqen, Dunaewsky69, v4w.enko and Plaster. Along with their releases, Kvitnu acts as an organizing structure, making international festivals and concerts. Kvitnu is created and operated by Kotra, and all visual appearances of label are designed and supervised by Zavoloka. In April 2011 Kvitnu became a winner in three nominations of the Qwartz Electronic Music Awards 7 in Paris -- as The Best Label, The Best Artist (Sturqen) and The Best Release in Discovery Category (Sturqen's Peste). And Kvitnu artist v4w.enko was nominated in the Discovery category with his CD release, Harmonic Ratio. This mixtape is more or less random selection of tracks from different Kvitnu releases to present you with the variety of Kvitnu's sound. Curated by Dmytro Fedorenko, Owner and Founder of Kvitnu

 

If you are looking for films from today, Wednesday, the 27th, you can see them here. Below are choice picks for the remainder of this week! Full festival details and movie listings here. --- Asleep In The Sun This Argentine film evokes the tag words: "metaphysical mystery," "canine-crazed," "soul-deep," "Kafkaesque world," "psuedo scientists," "self-possessed,"...

How To Die In Oregon This film does not beat around the bush. Beginning with a terminally-ill cancer patient who dies on camera, How To Die In Oregon explores the sensitive issue of physician-assisted suicide. Directed by Peter D. Richardson - UNITED STATES SHOWTIMES Sun, Feb 20 @ 9:30am (B1) Mon, Feb 21 @ 7:30...