The Wave, in which crazy political ideas take the place of religious ones, stop right there.
This is all about one young man's perception of god and what that big guy really wants.
THE STUDENT, the interesting and provocative new film from Russian screenwriter and director Kirill Serebrennikov, shown at right (which he adapted from the play by Marius von Mayenburg), the young and clearly all-too-impressionable high schooler named Venia (from Veniamin) has somehow got it in his head that the world he lives in is no damned good. From the outset the movie makes clear against what Venia -- played with remarkable reality and charisma by the young, sexy Pyotr Skvortsov (on poster, top. and bellow) -- is railing: the Russia pictured here looks like a teenage Sodom & Gomorrah, with beaucoup nudity, full-frontal male and female, and plenty of sex. Golly, what would Vladimir Putain -- oops, sorry: Putin -- whose picture we note on the wall of the school principal's office, have to say about all this?
Aleksandr Gorchilin, above) has the hots for our sloe-eyed, thick-lipped anti-hero, but since, according to Venia, god hates faggots, this relationship is not going to end well.
Alekandra Revenko), who tries to seduce him, while the school principal, a relic of older times, seems almost willing to cave in to the kid's religious nonsense, suggesting, or maybe pleading, to his instructor, "Why can't you teach both theories -- evolution and religion?"
Viktoriya Isakova (above, right), is your textbook progressive: smart, forward-thinking and caring. But she's no match for a guy with god on his side.
Under the Milky Way, the movie opens tomorrow, Friday, April 21, in San Francisco at the Four Star Theater, and on April 28 in Chicago at Facets Cinematheque. A nationwide limited release will follow.