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El estudiante | Santiago Mitre,
Argentina | Spanish with English subtitles | 110 minutes
Politics is a game, a seduction, and a vicious cycle in Santiago Mitre’s gripping, fine-tuned debut, the story of Roque (Esteban Lamothe), a university student who falls for a radicalized teacher and organizer (Romina Paula) and soon finds himself entangled with Buenos Aires campus activists, in a world as heated and byzantine as the one inhabited by the student revolutionaries of the mythic 1960s. Anchored by Lamothe’s nuanced, charismatic performance, The Student complicates the classic bildungsroman narrative of education and disillusionment, emphasizing the endless adaptability—or malleability—of its protagonist. An urgent attempt to grapple with the legacy of Peronism in present-day Argentina, the film abounds with telling details and rich local color. But it’s also a truly universal political thriller, one that illuminates the conspiratorial pleasure, the ruthless hustle, and the moral fog of politics as it is practiced.
Why you should see The Student: NYFF Spotlight.