2016, dir. Kirill Serebrennikov
Rebellion not through dress or music, but by strictly following the religious text.
Set in contemporary Russia, a high school student becomes convinced the world has been lost to evil. He rebels not through dress or music – but by interpreting the Bible’s code of conduct as rigidly as possible.
His strict orthodoxy comes up against various forces, including the high school’s priest and his biology teacher – a young woman who advocates liberalism and sexual education at school. As the conflict between them develops, things become not as they seem.
Based on a recent play by German dramatist Marius von Mayenburg, The Student allegorically depicts how the once persecuted Russian Orthodox Church has gained new power and become a defining characteristic of Russian identity, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Currently under house arrest for allegations of masterminding a fraud involving state funding, Kirill Serebrennikov is one of the most prominent theatre directors, founder of The Gogol Centre (Russia’s leading avant-garde theatre in Moscow).