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The Student

HD   PG-13

Kirill Serebrennikov

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About the Movie

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 32
  • Fresh: 28
  • Rotten: 4
  • Average Rating: 7.4/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Kirill Serebrennikov's study of a problem teenager's religious awakening is as aesthetically kinetic as it is intellectually rigorous. – Guy Lodge, Variety, Mar 1, 2017

Fresh: The narrative starts out in the realm of unfussy realism and grows blacker, richer and more surreal. – Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter, Mar 1, 2017

Fresh: For most of its running time, The Student is immensely compelling, a terrifying ride between hothouse realism and dreamy metaphor. – Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice, Feb 8, 2018

Fresh: Serebrennikov deploys ornery irony in this scathing critique of a self-radicalized fundamentalist and local unbelievers. – Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times, Oct 20, 2016

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Serebrennikov is one of the most prominent cultural figure in Russia. He is openly critical of the consertive lines promoted by the Kremlin and culture ministry. Russian police raided is apartment/office a few months back, and, in July 2017, the Bolshoi shokingly cancelled the World Premiere of the Nureyev ballet he directed ...

Enjoyed every minute of this film; an uncompromised and powerful depiction of modern day Russia.

Dark, intense and extremely clever

This Russian drama is a directorial masterpiece that uncovers the slip of modern Russia into conservative fundamentalism and how education can be powerless against that. An amazing soundtrack that will put you at teh edge of your seat.


Doesn't depict modern Russia

The Student
View in iTunes
  • $12.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2017

Customer Ratings

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