At Berkeley

Dir: Frederick Wiseman



244 mins


Frederick Wiseman, one of America’s greatest living documentarists (Titicut Follies, Basic Training, Public Housing), brings us his 38th documentary since 1967, this time examining The University of California at Berkeley.

Wiseman probes this august institution with a typically forensic study of what amounts to a city within a city with its own police force, social structures and multibillion dollar budget.

Suffering huge public funding cuts, Berkeley struggles to balance a tradition of radicalism and academic excellence against a pragmatic approach to ensuring its pre-eminent status as one of the top three rated centres of academic excellence in the world.

Without comment Wiseman shows how the Berkeley campus elucidates the struggle of contemporary Western society to maintain itself in the face of global political and economic flux.

Recently hailed by fellow documentarists as their No. 1 Documentary Filmmaker in Sight & Sound’s Greatest Documentaries of All Time Poll, Wiseman will also receive a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2014 Venice Film Festival.

This title is no longer available for booking from the ICO

Director’s statement:

“I think it is just as important for a filmmaker to show people of intelligence, character, tolerance and good will, hard at work, as it is to make movies about the failures, insensitivities and cruelties of others.”

Official film website

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