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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: 31
- Fresh: 27
- 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.
Fresh: The narrative starts out in the realm of unfussy realism and grows blacker, richer and more surreal.
Fresh: Serebrennikov deploys ornery irony in this scathing critique of a self-radicalized fundamentalist and local unbelievers.
Fresh: His social criticism can be heavy-handed, but his direction of actors (many of whom had never appeared in a movie before this one) is remarkable; Pyotr Skvortsov is terrifying in the lead.
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.
so good, so clever, so spiritual....
My best 2017 movie...so far. The main character is amazing and reminds me of Trump in the way that he is totally nuts and against science, women and abuses the truth!!
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.