Lessons in Tolerance Movie Review: What’s Up With the Ending?

The problem of intolerance towards other people has always haunted humanity. Especially when the question concerns one’s own identity and sexual preferences. Some people cannot accept those who are different from them, which results in almost baseless hatred. But nothing good can come from such a view of the world. The comedy “Lessons in Tolerance” revolves around precisely such ideas. In the review we tell you how the movie turned out.


interesting main theme and experiments with contrasts; an important moral that is not as provocative as it may seem; character acting


The film’s somewhat theatrical aesthetic may not appeal to everyone; the LGBT theme is just a background; it could have been revealed more beautifully; the general intimacy of all events will also scare someone away; excessive stereotyping of some points

“Lessons in Tolerance”

Genre Comedy
director Arkady Nepitaliuk
Starring Elena Uzlyuk, Alexander Piskunov, Alexander Yarema, Carolina Mruga, Akmal Gurezov, Boris Georgievsky, Nina Naboka
Premiere cinemas
Release year 2024
IMDb website

The Naidyukov family living in Podolia is far from ideal. Teacher Nadezhda (Elena Uzlyuk) brings money to the family. Her husband Zenik (Alexander Yarema) lives his life drinking beer and doing nothing. Their children live in dreams, not reality, so they cannot boast of anything special. This family is constantly drowning in strife, and creditors are ruining their lives with debt for the apartment.

Due to the difficult situation, Nadezhda agrees to take part in the European integration program “Lessons in Tolerance”. In it, the Naidyuks must place openly gay Vasily Zayets (Akmal Gurezov) in their place. LGBT+ people in the family are not treated in the best way, but this meeting can change everything for the better.

The irony is that Vasily destroys stereotypes about gays, which for some reason have been living in some minds for many years without any reason. This is an ordinary person with an ordinary profession, just with his own preferences. He is well-mannered and polite. Against his background, it is the Naidyuks who seem, if not freaks, then something close to a similar status. It is on this contrast that all cinema is built. There are no strange script intrigues or unusual directorial finds here.

“Lessons in Tolerance” is a film with one idea. But this idea is important enough to dedicate an entire movie to it.

Moreover, it is based on a play, which creates its own mood when viewing it. The film is intimate and situational, there is not too much space in it, but it handles its characters and circumstances masterfully. The acting here still has a little wink of theatrical expression. This may seem unnecessary to some, but it definitely has its own charm.

The film is structured like a series because it is divided into specific situations in which the Naidyukovs’ intolerance collides with Vasily’s worldview. And gradually the family begins to understand that an aggressive attitude towards LGBT people is only part of their problem. The film basically shows us how conservatism spoils life and poisons family relationships.

Of course, the Naidyuks here are also largely built on stereotypes. But these stereotypes are already quite real. I am sure that in almost each of the main characters you can recognize at least one of your friends. And it also highlights the importance of local history. After all, Ukrainians, especially in the current circumstances, should look at the world with a broad view, and not hold on to strange prejudices.

The film could have delved deeper and found more depressing moments (for example, the general state of the main characters’ family’s apartment highlights their moral decline). But you shouldn’t do this, because “Lessons in Tolerance” is a purebred comedy. The comedy is good, sincere and sometimes laugh-out-loud funny. She deals with eternal themes, but presents them in the context of pressing issues for society about LGBT people. And it works, so the movie leaves a positive impression.

“Lessons in Tolerance” works as a good reminder that we should be kinder to each other. It’s sad that some viewers see this concept as something hostile. Hence the situation when the movie poster at the Oktyabr cinema was doused with black paint. The director is only surprised by this attitude.

But, roughly speaking, if there are horses somewhere in a film, then it’s not a film about horses, is it? We have one gay character – so what? There are different characters there. But for them this irritant is enough: My God, it’s just a disaster, propaganda. They quite seriously believe that if we show a homosexual, he will infect people in the audience with his presence on the screen. So the guys will look and decide: “Oh, I’ll become gay!” They are talking to themselves, not to my film.

Arkady Nepitaluk, director of “Lessons in Tolerance”

The LGBT topic is just a conditional clickbait for society and it could have been explored better. But the main focus of the movie is something more eternal and sincere. Something that I would definitely like to find and keep forever in people’s hearts. If cinema becomes just such a preservation for anyone, its mission has been completely accomplished.


“Lessons in Tolerance” is called the first Ukrainian feature film about LGBT people. And it is already an achievement that Ukraine can allow such stories to be shown on big screens. Perhaps society is not yet quite ready for this, but art is precisely what should push the general consciousness forward. If this happens through such simple but good films, there are no downsides here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top