The Student, written by Kirill Serebrennikov, Marius von Mayenburg, the former is also directing the film
A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:
- https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEVa4_CsRStSBBDo4uJWT8BSWtTTn0N1E and http://realini.blogspot.ro/
The Student is an interesting, provoking film.
But it is not in the same category with:
- Leviathan aka Leviafan, Burnt by the Sun, Andrei Rublev, Unfinished Piece for Player Piano, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears and so many more
There are some important themes:
- Religion and fanaticism, racism, education, sexuality and many more
The hero is Veniamin Yuzhin.
He is a very troubled young man.
At the very beginning, there is a scene at the swimming pool, where there are so many young people, many attractive girls.
But he is not interested in getting close to them…on the contrary, he is reading his bible and perorating against what is going on.
He jumps in the pool, only he is dressed with his clothes and that provokes an audience with the school authorities.
The possessed young man is rambling about what he has read in the bible and –in my view- has misinterpreted.
I will refer to an authority in religious matters, Karen Armstrong who says that religious texts should not be read literally.
There are hidden significances and we should not believe that the world was created in seven days, literally…
Alas, this is what the second most powerful man in the world believes.
Mike Pence is also a denier of the Theory of Evolution, Climate change- together with his crazy boss- and a man who refuses to have a meal alone with another woman other than his wife…
- Peter, Joseph and Mary!
The lunatic student is therefore one of these fundamentalists.
He attacks so many groups:
- Women, Jews and homosexuals among others
His positions and manifestations are extreme.
When his biology teacher brings some carrots and condoms to the school and teaches in class about protection, Venya takes the center stage.
He undresses himself and creates a commotion, attacking education, civilization and all that I stand for.
With that he makes me mad.
I must say that I already hated the lunatic.
Which probably means that the film maker achieved his purpose that may very well be provoking an outrage and audiences thinking on the subject.
Religion is so important in a world where so many kill in the name of faith and so many fundamentalists try to impose their view.
After all, evangelicals have contributed in the election of the most powerful in the world, even if this is a very “sinful man”.
The student, who sees himself as a sort of prophet attacks women and their way of dressing and “disobeying men”.
He is also against homosexuals and Jews.
The outrageous thing is that the school master is condoning this lunatic.
Instead of taking action against his outrageous behavior, the school leaders start discussing the fact that the biology teacher might be Jewish!!!
In a few ways, this is a great film.
It discusses education and so many of the prejudice3s of modern day Russia, where Putin enjoys an astonishing 80% popularity rating.
Variety said about this film:
- “Kirill Serebrennikov's study of a problem teenager's religious awakening is as aesthetically kinetic as it is intellectually rigorous.”