Valeriya Gai Germanika’s “Shkola”. Subjectivity in absolute.

In 2010 Valeriya Gai Germanika directed critically acclaimed series called “Shkola” (School). Gai Germanika claimed that this series show true nature of schooling in Russia where teachers and parents do not understand personality of teenagers and that every student has rich inner world nobody respects.


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So, after watching several episodes I can claim that Valeriya Gai Germanika is unique person (her awesome surname including). The reason for my statement is that she managed to create little sensation (not in a good way) out of series about high schoolers (even Vladimir Putin reacted). In her vision being oppressed by cruel parents, students are victims of corrupted system, whereas teachers are close minded tyrants, not caring about anything. In other words, “Shkola” fails in picturing any positive adult. In my humble opinion, “Shkola” represents majority CIS (Commonwealth of Independent Countries) citizens’ viewpoints about school system: it is corrupted, teachers are not qualified enough, and students are the ones who suffer the most. The TV-show further promotes such views as they can be applied to every school in post-Soviet country.

“Shkola” was broadcasted on national TV. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against showing indie series on TV. However, when the show shows (heheh) its bias towards teaching and parenting, I think authority of both of parents and teachers gets discredited in the eyes of viewers. In my opinion such shows must find solutions and ways to change society in a better way, instead of blaming it for everything without any support or arguments. Instead of showing ways to help students or attempts to solve schooling problems, “Shkola” delivers shocking content one after another, like how emo girl gets beaten by her friends or how teacher and young student are talking about sex. As a viewer the only message I saw was that school is hell and the only solution is suicide (the actual ending of this series).

It’s a shame that even if there are many movies about education in CIS like “The Geographer Drank his Globe Away” or “The Student”, the work of Gai Germanika got so viral and popular among common folk.

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What should movies about schools teach us? If you have seen “Shkola”, please, tell me about your impression.


6 thoughts on “Valeriya Gai Germanika’s “Shkola”. Subjectivity in absolute.

  1. Saprano, honestly speaking, I haven’t seen any series of Shkola. However, now I know what it is about due to your blog. So, my decision is already not to see it. Here is why? As you delineated some episodes, it is clear that there is nothing useful (to beat each other, suicide, etc.). I espouse your idea that TV has to broadcast something that might be beneficial for teachers or parents in terms of up-bringing. Otherwise, there is a risk that watching this kind of shows, new generation might have egregious characteristics as the heroes of the show do. Here I would like to ask you a question. Have you seen all the series of Shkola? If yes, why? If not, I guess I know the answer why?)


  2. This post introduces us to a side of education that is not often the focus of educational research: its portrayal in popular media. When I think of western shows about education, they fall into two categories, comedies about teenage shenanigans (think Fast Times at Ridgemont High or American Pie) and inspirational dramas about motivating teachers (think Dead Poet’s Society, Freedom Writers and The Great Debaters). I don’t think there exists an analogue to what you described here. Do you think the narrative has changed/will change over time?

    A couple nagging grammar points:
    Valeriya Gai Germanika is (a) unique person
    (the) majority (of) CIS (Commonwealth of Independent Countries) citizens’ viewpoints



    1. Frankly, I don’t know. I can only hope that CIS movies about education will be more inspiring rather than being depressing. Unfortunately, I think that media prefers drama over hope and ratings over enlightnement


  3. I haven’t seen Shkola yet, but now I certainly will. The question of “to show or not to show negative things on TV” is a difficult question indeed. On the one hand, I sometimes think that they might help us notice unfavourable behaviour in ourselves or others and teach us not to do so. On the other hand, there is a vulnerable audience of young minds who can take everything as a “guidance to follow”. Well, even not all adults are able able to think critically and “filter the information”. So, perhaps, some censorship is needed on films like that.


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