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225 Ratings

The Student


Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
Russia, 2016


Veniamin, a teenager in the midst of a mystical crisis, has his mother, schoolmates and entire high school turned upside down by his questions.

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The Student Directed by Kirill Serebrennikov
When I first saw The Student at Cannes in 2016, it seemed to be a pretty effective allegory of the slow slide towards religious authoritarianism in Russia. But over the ensuing year or so, the film started to feel less like a metaphor and more like a prophecy. . . . Watching it again now, I don’t see a movie about Russia anymore. I see a movie about the nightmare we’re all currently living in.
February 08, 2018
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There is a theatricality to the film that can feel a little overbearing at times – it’s hard to sympathise with the grandstanding central character – but this is forceful and provocative film-making.
March 05, 2017
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The film featured a bitter condemnation of the social conservatism that forms the ideological buttress for Putin’s rule, but in the end retained overly heavy traces of its theatrical origins, and was particularly marred by the unnecessary didacticism involved in repeatedly showing the Bible passages in on-screen titles.
July 10, 2016
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