Thursday 19th April: The Student (15)

Original title: “(M)uchenik”

Russia  –  Drama  –  Year: 2016  –  Running time: 118 mins
Language: Russian

A fascinating and highly topical treatment of religious fundamentalism and how it takes root, especially in the young. Lauded and awarded at Cannes, 2016, it is the story of Venya, a good looking if sullen teen, who disturbs his mother and teachers when he starts declaiming from a tattered Bible he constantly carries with him. He comes increasingly in conflict with one of his teachers, Elena, the self-proclaimed defender of ‘liberal’ values.

Beautifully shot… The Student is a purposely exaggerated satire that feels simultaneously mindful and nerve-wracking.
Filipe Freitas (Film Threat)

Director: Kirill Serebrennikov
Betrayal (2012) / Yuri’s Day (2008) / Playing the Victim (2006)
Cast:
Pyotr Skvortsov                              …   Veniamin Yuzhin
Viktoriya Isakova                            …   Elena Krasnova
Yuliya Aug                                      …   Inga Yuzhina
Aleksandr Gorchilin                        …   Grigoriy Zaytsev
Aleksandra Revenko                      …   Lidiya Tkacheva
Svetlana Bragarnik                         …   Lyudmila Stukalina
(for full cast, and more information, see “The Student” in IMDB)

Selected UK reviews:

The Guardian (Philip Hoad)
Little White Lies (Tom Williams)

Official UK trailer: