Un Certain Regard | Update : 29.04.19 . 2:42 PM

The Student: Kirill Serebrennikov takes a probing look at religious fanaticism

Film still of Uchenik (The Student)

Film still of Uchenik (The Student) © Natalia Butova

Krill Serebrennikov, the Russian director and filmmaker at the helm of Moscow's modern theatre art centre since 2012, tackles the psychological grip of religious fanaticism in Uchenik (The Student).

The spiritual imprisonment of a young boy and the inexorable narrowing of his thinking highlights the often insidious impact of faith on our lives...
For his fourth feature film, following Playing the Victim (2006), Yuri's Day (2008) and Betrayal (2012), Kirill Serebrennikov has chosen to portray the power with which the practice of a religion, when pushed to extremes, can isolate its devotees.

"Art asks questions. Religion imposes answers. The film shows that it can be a form of manipulation, used by a young man to trick those around him", explains the filmmaker.

"Religion is a shady, dogmatic force that spreads obscurantism."

Thanks to long sequence shots, The Student tells the story of the slow shift towards religious obscurantism by Veniamin, a high-school student in Kaliningrad in the grip of a profound mystical crisis. While the teenager leaves his parents and friends feeling totally dismayed as he only swears by the Scriptures, Elena, his biology teacher, decides to provoke him on his own ground to try and bring him to reason.

Kirill Serebrennikov is very critical of the omnipotence of religion in his country, calling it "the second official ideology", and has included an extract of music by Laibach at the beginning of his feature film. Laibach is a band whose music has been banned from being played on Russian radio stations because it is considered to be "aggressive, potentially leading to evil thoughts". Religion "controls everyone's brains. It's a shady, dogmatic force that spreads obscurantism", concludes the filmmaker, whose film is adapted from a play by Marius von Mayenburg about ambiguity in the Bible.

Written by Benoit Pavan

Share the page
THE STUDENT
Un Certain Regard

UCHENIK

Kirill SEREBRENNIKOV

RUSSIA - 2016

01:58

Focus

The same day

Un Certain Regard Released on 13.05.16

The Student: Kirill Serebrennikov takes a probing look at religious fanaticism

Krill Serebrennikov, the Russian director and filmmaker at the helm of Moscow's modern theatre art centre since 2012, tackles the psychological grip of religious fanaticism in Uchenik (The Student).

Separate addresses with a comma * * * Required fields
Un Certain Regard13.05.16

The Student: Kirill Serebrennikov takes a probing look at religious fanaticism

Separate addresses with a comma * * * Required fields
.

.

.

12 : 06 : 34 : 57
From May 14 to 25, keep up with the 72nd

Festival de Cannes on its dedicated event website

By continuing to navigate our website,
you accept cookies being used and saved on your device, notably for promotional and/or advertising purposes, within the limits of our privacy protection policy.