In Review: Three Documentaries Tackle Timely Issues in Higher Education

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All the Difference chronicles the lives of two African American men as they transition from life in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago to the world of higher education. Filmed over the course of five and a half years, the documentary depicts the struggles…

All the Difference

All the Difference chronicles the lives of two African American men as they transition from life in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods of Chicago to the world of higher education. Filmed over the course of five and a half years, the documentary depicts the struggles and triumphs of its subjects as they graduate from an Englewood, Ill., charter high school, are accepted into elite postsecondary institutions, and overcome the odds to obtain college degrees. The film has been heralded for its honest, powerful portrayal of what its like to be low-income, minority, and male in college today. The DVD is available for purchase at nomadicpictures.org, or for information on hosting a campus screening, visit pbs.org/pov/allthedifference.

Evergreen State College Controversy

A short yet insightful piece, Vice News’ Evergreen State College Controversy manages to capture the multiple perspectives of the people at the heart of the protests that have catapulted The Evergreen State College (TESC), a small public liberal arts institution in Olympia, Wash., into the national spotlight in recent months. The film includes original footage of the protests, as well as interviews with students on both sides of the free speech debate, TESC President George Sumner Bridges, and professor Bret Weinstein — whose alleged racist actions first prompted student unrest. At just over seven minutes long, the film depicts the seemingly irresolvable conflict of a campus divided. The video is available for viewing at youtube.com/vicenews.

Starving the Beast

Created and directed by University of Texas at Austin adjunct professor Steve Mims, Starving the Beast explores the philosophical divide at the heart of America’s student loan crisis. The film uncovers how two radically different viewpoints — higher education is an investment in the public good versus a commodity to be purchased by students — have led to widespread disagreement over how U.S. colleges and universities should be funded. By including interviews with lawmakers, administrators, and academics across the country, Starving the Beast reveals how this debate is changing the nature of higher education itself. The film is available for purchase through iTunes.


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