“Darezhan Omirbayev puts to rest… any notion that adaptations of Dostoyevsky’s great Crime and Punishment have been exhausted.” — Howard Feinstein, Screendaily

Year: 2012
Country: Kazakhstan
Running time: 90 mins
Censor Rating: M - violence
Genres: Drama, Youth

Screenplay: Darezhan Omirbayev
Producer: Limara Zheksembayeva
Photography: Boris Troshev
Music: Baurzhan Kuanyshev
In Kazakh with English subtitles

With: Maiya Serkibayeva, Yedyge Bolysbayev, Bakhytzhan Turdaliyeva

Festivals: Cannes (Un Certain Regard) 2012

An adaptation of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment with no policeman, Kazakh filmmaker Darezhan Omirbayev’s film tells a stark tale of a shy young student who commits an almost random act of murder. Set in contemporary Almaty, it’s a ferociously political critique, cut and framed with Bressonian austerity. “You cannot look away from Darezhan Omirbayev’s Student… for each and every shot is quietly but powerfully charged. It always seems a minute charge until a simple shot’s condensation of narrative expression and emotional nuance sneaks up on you… Student pares away its source and the world until all that’s left is the everyday that speaks volumes, volumes materially, narratively and emotionally… Omirbayev sees how contemporary social, political and economic life in Kazakhstan ‘calls up’ stories of profound universality which, when stripped to their potent core, become absolutely of their new, specific place and time.” — Daniel Kasman,