[Viff Review] The Student

The Student, which is translated on screen as “The Disciple” (an interpretation far more fitting, although the Russian word used is also close to “Martyr”) is, if nothing else, an intensely frustrating film. Directed with the subtlety of a shotgun by Kirill Serebrennikov and shot with a formally energetic approach full of vim and vigor by Vladislav Opelyants, it is a film which actually has the force and rigor to take on the thorny subject of religious fundamentalism. But even if it is visually up to the task, The Student is hobbled by its script and hog tied by its characters.

A screed against religion, or to be more precise, the fundamental devotion to a religious text, in this case The Bible, The Student is a film with the potential for great satire and importance, grounded in the decision to show a conviction towards the text not often seen on
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