The Student

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As a screenwriter, Santiago Mitre has helped Argentina's current cinematic new wave hit its crest phase (Lion's Den, Carancho); his directorial debut, however, feels like the work of someone uneasily treading water. Following the misadventures of a handsome college student (Esteban Lamothe) who becomes enmeshed in university politics and soon learns the art of back-room power-brokering and backstabbing your friends, Mitre's metaphor-heavy fable quickly makes its point, then fails to move past rehashing the obvious. Its portrait of the genesis of a wheeler-dealer will school you in various South American strands of sub-socialism, but anyone already wise to a corrupted electoral process can easily skip this lesson.—DF

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New York Film Festival 2011

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