“What I’m interested in is making movies about as many different subjects as I can, and as many different forms of human experience.” — Frederick Wiseman
Independent Lens, which featured Frederick Wiseman’s The Last Letter several years ago, is proud to have the master of cinéma vérité back for this coming season with his magnum opus about college campus life, At Berkeley. The film will have its television premiere on Independent Lens in early January, 2014 [keep checking our site for updates], and is just about to have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Here’s just an excerpt:
In “At Berkeley,” we witness the autumn 2010 semester at a university in crisis, yet thriving. Mr. Wiseman uses the institution’s settings — the meetings, classes and protests — as stages to play out its multifaceted drama of people and ideas. A student’s tears at a financial aid session turn the moment into a portrait of middle-class America on the ropes. Budget meetings show the struggle to maintain the values of public education, and create a profile of a leader in then-Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. A goal is scored in a field hockey game. Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich in a lecture makes an example out of a valued former aide who was unafraid to criticize him. And — this is Berkeley — a reading room is occupied by the latest generation of student activists.