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Starving the Beast

HD   NR Closed Captioning

Steve Mims

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About the Movie

As college tuition skyrockets and student debt explodes, a powerful new documentary reveals a nationwide fight for control of the heart, soul and finances of America’s public universities. Starving the Beast tells the story of a potent one-two punch roiling public higher education right now: 35 years of systematic defunding and a well financed market oriented reform effort. It’s the story of a little known and misunderstood ideological fight, the outcome of which will change the future of public higher education. The film reveals an historic philosophical shift that reframes public higher education as a ‘value proposition’ to be borne by the student as a consumer, rather than an investment in citizens as a ‘public good’. Financial winners and losers emerge in a struggle poised to profoundly change public higher education.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 16
  • Fresh: 15
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Academics used to joke that campus politics were so vicious because the stakes were so small. That's no longer the case, at least where the stakes are concerned, as "Starving the Beast" makes clear. – Daniel M. Gold, New York Times, Sep 8, 2016

Fresh: A polished and provocative documentary about debates over funding -- or defunding -- state colleges and universities. – Joe Leydon, Variety, Sep 2, 2016

Fresh: Amid all the hand-wringing about student debt, Mims offers a jolt of chilling clarity. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, Sep 15, 2016

Fresh: It contains big insights for those who wade in - and helps lay the groundwork for debates. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, Sep 7, 2016

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