San Francisco Public Library

Global Lens Film Series

1:00 - 3:00

Biblioteca Central

Auditorio Koret - Planta Baja

100 Larkin St.


Director: Darezhan Omirbayev
Kazakhstan   |   2012   |   90 minutes
Kazakh and Russian, with subtitles in English


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.

About the Director
Darezhan Omirbayev was born in the Dzhambul Province of the Soviet Union (now Kazakhstan) in 1958. His debut feature, Kairat, won the Silver Leopard and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Locamo Film Festival in 1992, and the FIPRESCI Prize at the Strasbourg Film Festival in 1993. His third feature, Killer, won the Un Certain Regard Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 1998. Student is his sixth feature film.