Kirill Serebrennikov – Uchenik AKA Student (2016)

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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? Continue reading

Kirill Serebrennikov – Izmena AKA Betrayal (2012)

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A man and a woman, two casual acquaintances, learn that their respective spouses are having an affair with each other. This discovery drives them to do things they didn’t dare to do before. What will prevail—the feeling of jealousy or passion? What to choose—revenge or forgiveness? The protagonists are looking for something to build a new life upon, but it is not easy: their every action is influenced by the fact of infidelity, and this infidelity has its own logic. Continue reading