Adam Besheer’s short film, Tribe, imagines a bleak winter in a future where the electricity has long been gone. When a stranger, Patrick (Brett Jeffry), comes across a family’s home in the middle of the winter wilderness, he rashly kills the family dog that is running towards him. This act puts him at odds with the family patriarch, Mike (Christian Thom), even as Patrick claims to be heading to Montreal, where apparently civilization has been reborn and electricity restored. Hope for a better life for his wife (Jennifer Phillips) and daughter (Ashley Farley) eventually wins out, and the family joins Patrick on his trek to Montreal.
It’s a dark cinematic journey, as little proof of Montreal’s resurgence exists, and the isolated family has only the word of a stranger to go on. Mike only wishes to do right by his family, and Patrick’s intentions are hardly ever clear. Still, with the family dog dead, whose main purpose was to assist in hunting for food, Mike’s options have become severely limited.
The film looks good, and it takes advantage of its resources; in this case, the wilderness in winter. However, the story of a small group of survivors wandering towards a rumored safe haven is hardly anything new; we’ve seen variations of it in the post-apocalyptic genre many a time before. There’s a familiarity there, and the film doesn’t do much beyond that, to either spin the tale into memorable territory or deliver something new.
What we’re left with is a film that tells the story it has chosen to tell in a competent fashion, but doesn’t stand out. It’s not bad, it’s just not spectacular either. It does its job, and nothing more.
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