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The Student

Kirill Serebrennikov
Russia 2016 / 118’

Is only Muslim religious fundamentalism dangerous? The Student shows that radicals can be waiting just around the corner and are not equipped with a Koran but wield the Bible instead. We meet Venya as he refuses to change into his gym outfit at school. All hell breaks loose when his teachers and mother realize the reasons are not embarrassing erections or drugs but his conscience instead and the devout boy, who has a Bible quote for every occasion, starts to cause a growing list of problems. On the other hand, his zealous faith engenders admiration and embarrassment as people around claiming to be devout do not possess his level of knowledge or perseverance. That's why, just in case, they prefer to yield to him, even when he boycotts the curriculum by questioning Darwin's theory of evolution. Venya feels so self-confident that when someone appears ready to challenge him, he decides to carry out the ultimate sacrifice.

Artur Zaborski


Cannes IFF 2016 - François Chalais Award

Kirill Serebrennikov

Kirill Serebrennikov was born in 1969 in Rostov-on-Don, where he received his degree in Physics. As a student, he directed plays at the local theater. Currently, he is one of most renowned Russian theater directors, beloved by critics and audiences alike for his modern style. Serebrennikov has directed over 20 plays in Moscow and St. Petersburg. His film Playing the Victim was part of the NH Festival repertoire in 2007. The Student, which screened at Cannes, is based on a play directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna in Poland.


2004 Doktor Ragin / Ragin

2005 Postelnye stseny / Bad Stories (tv)

2006 Odgrywając ofiarę / Izobrazhaya zhertvu / Playing the Victim

2008 Dzień w Juriewie / Yurev den / Yuri's Day

2012 Zdrada / Izmena / Betrayal

2016 Uczeń / (M)Uchenik / The Student

Cast & Crew

director Kirill Serebrennikov
screenplay Kirill Serebrennikov (based on a play by Marius von Mayenburg)
cinematography Vladislav Opelyants
editing Yury Karikh
music Ilya Demutsky
cast Petr Skvortsov, Aleksandr Gorchilin, Aleksandra Revenko, Victoria Isakova, Julia Aug
producer Ilya Stewart, Diana Safarova, Yury Kozyrev
production A Wide presentation of a Hype Film production
Polish distributor Vivarto
language Russian
colouration colour