Introduction by Joël Chapron (specialist of Russian Cinema)
The Russian high school pupil Venya has found God, and, armed with quotes from the Bible, attacks everything that he regards as objectionable, such as immodest clothing worn during swimming lessons and Darwin's theory of evolution in biology classes. While the school governors reluctantly make concessions, only his biology teacher dares confront this extremist student. In 'The Student', Russian director Kirill Serebrennikov tells an impressive story of religious fundamentalism.
Director Kirill Serebrennikov (1969) is a theatre director, but turns occasionally to television and filmmaking.
A few years ago he directed the German play 'Märtyrer' by Marius von Mayenburg, which inspired him to make the film 'The Student', clearly adapting the original play to evoke the situation in Russia today. A film which is a clear attack on the growing influence of the Russian Orthodox Church on society in Putin's Russia. Also clear is that the Bible contains enough passages to incite a troubled young man to commit extreme acts. Serebrennikov leaves no doubt as to the authenticity of these passages by displaying in the corner of the screen the chapter of the Bible from which the quote is taken. By using long shots the director gives his actors the opportunity to give full effect to the rapid dialogue.