×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Tribe

Taking the viewer deep inside a Manila slum blighted by drugs and gang violence, "Tribe" is a disturbing snapshot of a community in chaos.

With:
With: Karl Eigger Balingit, O.G. Sacred, Shielbert Manuel, Lloyd Labastida, (Tagalog dialogue)

Taking the viewer deep inside a Manila slum blighted by drugs and gang violence, “Tribe” is a disturbing snapshot of a community in chaos. Drawing instant comparison to the much slicker and more broadly scoped “City of God,” helmer Jim Libiran’s debut feature has the raw power to make its own distinct mark. Winner of the top prize at Cinemalaya, ultra-realistic pic should have a lengthy fest life and could interest specialized broadcasters. In lieu of formal domestic distribution, Libiran plans to take the film on the road himself.

Frantic opening posits 10-year-old Ebet (Kal Eigger Balingit) as voiceover narrator and observer of life in the notorious Tondo slum, a place where parents regularly outlive their children. As he puts it, “Most people here are bums, and they’re bums because they’re poor.” First seen watching a frenzied street march honoring the district’s patron saint, the boy keeps company with the Thugz Angels gang and casually witnesses their everyday drug use and brutal initiation rituals.

Storyline follows a straightforward path as the Thugz Angels are mistakenly blamed for the murder of a rival, and leader Makoy (O.G. Sacred) musters forces for all-out warfare. En route to the fiery finale, auds bear witness to an unrelenting depiction of how the grinding cycle of poverty and severely dysfunctional family life draws children into crime.

Hard to forget are images of a betrayed wife attacking her husband with a knife in public and kids not much older than Ebet wandering the streets with guns. Cast with real members of half a dozen local gangs, pic is utterly and tragically convincing.

Powered by hip-hop made up on the spot — too much for non-fans of the musical form — the film moves swiftly to a conclusion that will perhaps disappoint those insisting on optimistic outcomes, but one that is entirely appropriate and consistent with what’s come before.

Lensed largely at night with available light sources, pic’s visuals are crisp and sound quality is crystal-clear in challenging locations. Rest of tech work is solid.

Tribe

Philippines

Production: An 8 Glasses Prods., Cinemalaya production. (International sales: 8 Glasses, Cubao Quezon City, Philippines.) Produced by Jim Libiran. Executive producers, Libiran, Mitchelle Moreno, Diomedes Dillague, Gene Cajayon. Directed, written by Jim Libiran.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Albert Banzon; editor, Lawrence S. Ang; music, Francis De Veyra; production designer, Armi Cacanindin; sound (stereo), Mark Laccay; assistant director, Rayg Generoso. Reviewed at Pusan Film Festival (New Currents -- competing), Oct. 5, 2007. (Also in Cinemalaya Film Festival.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With: With: Karl Eigger Balingit, O.G. Sacred, Shielbert Manuel, Lloyd Labastida, (Tagalog dialogue)

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    'Alien' at 40: Ridley Scott Explains Why 'You Don't Show the Monster Too Many Times'

    It’s difficult to imagine Ridley Scott’s sci-fi/horror classic “Alien” without the clear-minded, strong presence of Tom Skerritt as Dallas, the captain of the ill-fated Nostromo. But originally, the actor turned down “Alien,” which celebrates its 40th anniversary on May 25, though he thought Dan O’Bannon’s script read well. “There was nobody involved at the time [...]

  • The Poison Rose

    Film Review: 'The Poison Rose'

    It is 1978 in the City of Angels and the hard-drinking washed-up sleuth Carson Phillips is having another boozy day through its atmospheric streets. There is a hint of innate coolness and self-deprecation in his elongated voiceover intro — you might even briefly mistake Carson, played by a one-note John Travolta, for a Philip Marlowe [...]

  • 'Chambre 212' Review: A Comedy More

    Cannes Film Review: 'Chambre 212'

    Most of us, in our romantic lives, meditate here and there on the other roads we might have traveled, and movies are uniquely equipped to channel those alternate-universe-of-love possibilities. That’s the idea at the (broken) heart of “Casablanca.” And the fantasy of getting to see the turns your life didn’t take play out right in [...]

  • Zach Galifianakis Jerry Seinfeld Netflix

    Film News Roundup: Zach Galifianakis' 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie' Coming to Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, “Between Two Ferns: The Movie” is unveiled, “Friedkin Uncut” gets a fall release and Sony Classics buys “The Traitor” at Cannes. MOVIE RELEASES Netflix has set a Sept. 20 release date for Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” based on his 11-year-old talk show. Galifianakis made the announcement during [...]

  • Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for

    Romanian Crime-Thriller 'The Whistlers' Bought for North America

    Magnolia Pictures has bought North American rights to the Romanian crime thriller “The Whistlers” following its premiere in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Written and directed by Corneliu Porumboiu, the film stars Vlad Ivanov, Catrinel Marlon, Rodica Lazar, Antonio Buil, Agustí Villaronga, Sabin Tambrea, Julieta Szonyi and George Pisterneanu. Magnolia is eyeing a theatrical [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content