After Venya’s mother receives a call from school reporting her son’s refusal to participate in mixed swimming lessons, she first suspects her teenager of being shy and derides his claim that it is “against his religion.” As Venya is finally exempted by the school’s devout principal, he grows confident that his strict and rigorous study of the Bible gives him the ability to manipulate all forms of authority. Challenged by a teacher who refuses to consent to his dogma, he sets out to eliminate her and subdue an entire community. At a time when arguments over the teaching of religion in public schools are prominent in the media, this wildly escalating classroom drama — based on a play by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg — serves as a frightening cautionary tale. (In Russian with English subtitles).
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Cannes Film Festival Un Certain Regard
WINNER: Best Director, Kinotavr Film Festival, Russia
“COMMANDING AND FASCINATING!”-Screen International
“Offers both a universally relevant examination of religious zealotry and, at the same time, a damning, satirical look at modern Russia”-Hollywood Reporter
“SPLENDID!…The Student is a film that never stops to think; it thinks (and speaks, and shouts) while prodigiously on the move.”-Guy Lodge, Variety