6.9/10
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13 user 63 critic

The Student (2016)

(M)uchenik (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 21 April 2017 (USA)
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Contemporary Russia. A high school student becomes convinced that the world has been lost to evil, and begins to challenge the morals and beliefs of the adults around him.
15 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Pyotr Skvortsov ... Veniamin Yuzhin
Viktoriya Isakova ... Elena Krasnova
Yuliya Aug ... Inga Yuzhina
Aleksandr Gorchilin ... Grigoriy Zaytsev
Aleksandra Revenko ... Lidiya Tkacheva
Anton Vasilev ... Oleg Ivanovich Selnenko
Svetlana Bragarnik ... Lyudmila Stukalina
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nikolay Roshchin Nikolay Roshchin ... Otets Vsevolod
Irina Rudniktskaya Irina Rudniktskaya ... Irina Petrovna
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Storyline

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. Written by Under The Milky Way

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I haven't come to bring piece but the sword. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Russia

Language:

Russian

Release Date:

21 April 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Student See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$51, 28 April 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$138, 28 April 2017
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hype Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Russian title "(M)uchenik", with the 'm' in parentheses, is a play on words, a pun, combining the Russian word "muchenik", which means "martyr", with the Russian word "uchenik", which means "student". Because the Russian pun would not be understood, and there is no way to translate it, the simplified title "Uchenik", or "The Student", was used at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. See more »

Quotes

Veniamin Yuzhin: [notices Grigoriy's arms around him] Grigoriy, what are you doing?
Grigoriy Zaytsev: Where?
Veniamin Yuzhin: Here.
Grigoriy Zaytsev: Nothing.
Veniamin Yuzhin: Move your arms.
Grigoriy Zaytsev: Okay.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Vdud (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

God Is God
Performed by Laibach
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User Reviews

 
The Student
16 March 2017 | by indiecinemamagazineSee all my reviews

"The Student" – "(M)uchenik" directed by Kirill Serebrennikov is an attempt to reconsider religious fanaticism in the modern world. The picture is based on the play "Martyr" by German author Marius von Mayenburg and it was adapted to the reality of modern Russia.

In a way the problems touched upon in the film are universal and not connected to one particular religion. An interesting aspect of the film is the constant quoting of the Bible which shows that any religion can become an instrument of aggression. The picture is a sharp and humorous satire. The teachers in the film are very well depicted, they whose heads are full of self contradictory ideas combining Stalinism, Putinism, Communism, Liberalism and religion. The school administration cannot confront a religious fanatic because they themselves do not have any ideas or principles.

When the biology teacher tries to confront Veniamin, she also looks into the Bible, which she interprets in a vulgar and primitive way. The relations between Veniamin and Grigori are interesting; he becomes very close to Veniamin but we see later that Grigori is gay which is the real reason why he becomes his disciple.

The film is shot in a minimalistic way in this low-budget production, but the actors play well and the dialogues are very funny. The ideas of the picture are important, the film has an open end just as our society has an uncertain future with growing extremism and radicalism.


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