Part of the fun of a major film festival is discovering hidden gems or correcting personal cinematic blind spots. I experienced a bit of both on the ninth day of the Cannes Film Festival this year, after hearing a couple of glowing endorsements from colleagues for Darezhan Omirbaev’s Crime and Punishment adaptation, Student. Until now, the Kazakhstani Omirbaev had eluded me, his films so lacking in distribution that I’ve heard of virtually none of them, despite being now 20 years into a relatively fruitful career and already having won the top prize in the 1998 Un Certain Regard strand at Cannes for Tueur a gages. He now he’s returned for the third time to compete in Un Certain Regard with Student, a stark, uninflected character study transposing the themes of Dostoyevsky famous novel to modern Kazakhstan. Being unfamiliar with the remainder of his work, I can’t say where this falls in the man’s filmography, but I do know it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in the last few days of the fest—the kind of thing that will probably never be distributed Stateside and thus makes sifting through opinions and taking scheduling risks worthwhile at such a vast festival.