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176 Ratings



Directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
Kazakhstan, 2012


Spurred by his own postmodern musings and the growing inequality, corruption, and kill-or-be-killed ethic of post-Soviet Kazakhstan, a solitary philosophy student steers his directionless life toward the commission of a violent crime, which leads to growing guilt.

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Student Directed by Darezhan Omirbayev
Psychological violence is constantly present and reflected in the film’s physical violence, which is typically suggested rather than seen. The result of this choice is that violence registers less as a set of sensations than as a pure fact whose consequences we are left to contemplate—and whose ultimate value is left to us to judge.
May 31, 2013
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A sense of existential dread that would make the Russkie novelist beam is channeled beautifully, but for a filmmaker lauded for his minimalist aesthetic, Omirbayev sure loves broad-stroke symbolism and sloganeering.
May 28, 2013
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To call Student an adaptation is perhaps too generous: Omirbaev cribs the basic schema of his source novel, but Student is lacking in the immediacy and philosophical intent that make Dostoevsky’s work a classic… Student, for all its excoriating examples of the soullessness of modern Kazakhstan, comes off nearly as blunted and empty, more a dull screed than a pointed metaphor.
May 28, 2013
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