Kirill Serebrennikov – Uchenik AKA Student (2016)


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.

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.

The first Russian production of a play by German playwright Marius von Mayenburg. The main character, schoolboy Veniamin, thinks he knows everything about moral standards — how to follow it, how to protect it, what’s good and what’s bad. His behavior is becoming a serious challenge for everyone. Where’s the border between morality and intolerance, freedom and permissiveness, religion and manipulation, sermon and terrorism?

The play of Marius von Mayenburg about a boy who’s become a serious extremist after reading a Bible is very relevant for today’s Russia where social standards are becoming tougher and tolerance is questionable. In Kirill Serebrennikov’s version the action of the play takes place in average Russian school and the text is adapted for our country’s realias. It’s psychological theatre with perfect cast.

Martyr is a genuine and hard talk with audience about the most burning issues, a try to reflect on the most up-to-date social processes. – more


  • Johnny C

    Please upload English subtitles, if available. Thanks!