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Synopsis A solitary philosophy student steers his directionless life toward the commission of a violent crime, spurred on by postmodern musings and a post-Soviet order characterized by growing inequality, institutional corruption and a ruthless ethic of "eat or be eaten." Inspired by Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, director Darezhan Omirbayev roots his nameless student in the losing segment of Kazakhstan's new capitalist era, whose population watches the rich rise above common legal proscriptions and old-fashioned communal values. Omirbayev's brooding protagonist may prove the willing student of the age, but he alone reckons with the consequences of his actions-a gesture strikingly at odds with a world losing a consistent concept of justice. (c) Global Film Initiative


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Critic Reviews for Student

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (5)

Set in modern-day Kazakhstan, where the quiet is broken only by brutishness, this classically shot and edited film is a spare yet entrancing tale drawn with precise strokes.

May 30, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

A sense of existential dread that would make the Russkie novelist beam is channeled beautifully, but for a filmmaker lauded for his minimalist aesthetic, Omirbayev sure loves broad-stroke symbolism and sloganeering.

May 28, 2013 | Rating: 3/5
Time Out
Top Critic

Darezhan Omirbaev's sixth feature-whose unnamed, largely quiet protagonist lives in a poor area of Almaty, Kazakhstan-is a pedagogical film.

May 28, 2013 | Full Review…

Unfortunately, Omirbaev fails to invest either the murder plot or its political subtext with much suspense or conviction.

May 19, 2012 | Full Review…

There's much to admire in the film's elegantly classical tempo and the way Omirbayev achieves so much with so little.

May 19, 2012

You cannot look away from Darezhan Omirbaev's "Student", as you can't look away from any of the Kazakh director's films, for each and every shot is quietly but powerfully charged.

Nov 16, 2017 | Full Review…

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