It would have been possible for Wiseman to tilt his documentary toward an indictment of the administrators who are presiding over what his film represents as a probably irreversible transformation of the greatest public higher education system in the world into a relatively costly, semiprivatized, insufficiently competitive, and perennially underfunded one. He has the footage for it: the student protesters in the plaza with their idealism, earnestness, and anxiety; the administrators in their corporate offices with their cheerful enthusiasm for the police, their well-oiled public relations machinery, their savvy political calculations, and their willingness to knuckle under to budgetary constraints.

Review of ‘At Berkeley’ by Stephen Greenblatt

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