At Berkeley

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
At Berkeley
At Berkeley

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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.

By: Joshua Rothkopf



Release details

Release date:
Friday September 12 2014
244 mins

Cast and crew

Frederick Wiseman
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