For years, the debate around religious influences in schools has undergone agonizing dissection. Usually, the conflict revolves around the issue of schools having religion as part of their lesson plans. “The Student,” an official selection at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, questions what happens when the devout passions of a young male student begin to unravel a public school in some very unexpected ways.
This classroom drama weaves tonally dark imagery and adolescent aggression into a striking feature. After Venya, the protagonist of the film, refuses to participate in a co-ed swimming class, claiming that it is “against his religion,” the (devout) principal of the school approves Venya’s exemption, onsetting his manipulation of power. When he encounters a teacher who contests his dogma, Venya plots to “eliminate” her.
“The Student” was written and directed by Kirill Serebrennikov (“Betrayal,” “Yuri’s Day”), and is based off of a play by the German playwright Marius von Mayenburg.
“The Student” will kick off its theatrical release at the Four Star Theater in San Fransisco on April 21. It will then release in Chicago in the Facets Cinematheque on April 28, and in Miami at the Miami Beach Cinematheque on June 2, with a nation wide release anticipated to soon follow.
Watch our exclusive clip of “The Student” below.