Time Out says
Complaining about the four-hour length of this often absorbing campus documentary seems whiny, especially since it comes from verité master filmmaker Frederick Wiseman. His slow-mounting style – accommodating all perspectives – fits the proudly messy nature of UC Berkeley, the prestigious Californian university that became a magnet for radical thought in the 1960s. Today, the university is struggling with severe budget cuts. We watch administrators wring their hands in a marathon senior-staff meeting at which the chancellor bears bad news from the state’s budget office. The doc captures a crisis (with a deeply ironic payoff, given the university’s history), as students occupy the library with a list of fuzzy demands. ‘At Berkeley’ works beautifully as a picture of compromised activism. Viewers who are patient enough to commit to its indulgences won’t feel short-changed, even if next year’s freshmen are.