With a 244 minute run-time, Frederick Wiseman’s 38th documentary to date, »At Berkeley«, is no quick glance at the prominent west coast campus. Wiseman has studied institutional bodies and their hierarchies before, from the aptly titled »High School« to »State Legislature«, and he once again manages to encapsulate the organisational motions from a top-to-bottom level.

Wiseman´s use of fixed camera views and gentle editing lends the film a democratic gaze, and as usual he only observes his subjects, without intervention, voice-overs or talking-head interviews. »At Berkley« doesn’t historicize nor contextualize the institution; it doesn’t address its noted left-wing activism or the hippie movement of the 60s, which has been covered many times before. Instead, its concern is how the university functions today, and how economical challenges are weighing on Berkeley since the state of California reduced its funding.

At Berkeley poster
Title
At Berkeley
Director
Frederick Wiseman
Country
USA
Length
244 min
Festival
2013
Section
Documania
Language
English
Premiere status
Swedish Premiere
Production year
2013
Original title
At Berkeley
Producer
Frederick Wiseman

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