Directed by Frederick Wiseman | USA | 2013 | 244 min.
Friday, April 4 | 4:30pm | McConomy Auditorium, CMU's University Center
5000 Forbes Avenue
"It's not the 'me,' but the 'we,' that keeps democracy alive." —The New York Times
You are a student: you're passionate about learning and you're setting down the stones for a meaningful life of work. Your university unexpectedly announces that tuition prices are substantially rising--the enlightened, post-graduate life you envision for yourself will be further flooded with debt to pay off. How do you demand your right to an affordable public education? How do you organize a protest against what you know is unfair? Administrators meet in conferences, they share concerns, and discuss methods of tackling the strains of a tarnished economy. This scenario is likely a familiar one, extending far beyond the sphere of a school in California. Legendary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman immerses us into a variety of settings from heated classroom discussions about race and privilege, to protesters delivering vigorous speeches endorsing democracy, to former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich lecturing about the importance of self-evaluation. At Berkeley is not simply an account of one institution's financial problems; rather, the university stands as a microcosm for social stratification, economic instability, and the need to balance free speech with civil order. As one student declares through a microphone at a rally, "The power is here with the people. The power is here where we study, where we work."