At Berkeley

Directed by Frederick Wiseman | USA | 2013 | 244 min.

Friday, April 4 | 4:30pm | McConomy Auditorium, CMU's University Center
5000 Forbes Avenue

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Event Includes: Event Includes: A discussion with Kathleen Newman, an Associate Professor of English at CMU, and with Paul Eiss, an Associate Professor of Anthropology and History at CMU + Reception
Co-sponsored by: University of Pittsburgh's Film Studies Program

"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."


- Winner of the CICT-UNESCO Enrico Fulchignoni Award at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival
- Winner of the Silver Mouse Award at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival
- Nominated for Best Documentary at the 2014 Online Film Critics Society Awards
- Nominated for the Grierson Award at the 2013 London Film Festival


Frederick Wiseman
Frederick Wiseman is one of the most prominent figures of the documentary genre. Born in 1930 in Boston, Massachusetts, Wiseman is a pioneer of the cinéma vérité style. He is best known for his 1968 film, High School, but has made numerous films since the 1960s that explore and critique American institutions.
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