Published on Jan 30, 2014
IVORY TOWER is the documentary about college costs and exploding tuition rates in the United States, and we look at the trailer and footage direct from the movie’s premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi discusses how the United States has gone from a nation that emphasized accessible higher education, to a country where the big business of education has made economic and social mobility less fluid than ever. We also discuss the potential for alternative models of affordable education and the sacrifices that people are having to make to go to college in this BYOD–the world’s only talk show all about documentary films.
IVORY TOWER questions the purpose of higher education in an era when the price of college has increased more than for any other service in the U.S. economy since 1978. While many college graduates struggle to find menial employment waiting tables and cleaning toilets, new student loans over the next 10 years will total $184 billion. Filmmaker Andrew Rossi reveals the moment in history when the United States, long regarded as the epicenter of higher education, embraced a business model promoting property expansion over quality learning. Through interviews with Andrew Delbanco, Anya Kamenetz, and Internet education pioneer Daphne Koller, cofounder of the revolutionary online platform Coursera, Ivory Tower exposes the instability of traditional college education as it searches the country for alternative forms of cost-effective learning, ranging from concepts of self-governance taught at Deep Springs College in Big Pine, California, to the unofficial hacker houses of northern California.
Filmmaker Bio: Andrew Rossi returns to the Sundance Film Festival following his last film, Page One: Inside the New York Times, about the crisis in the newspaper industry. Distributed by Participant Media and Magnolia Pictures,Page One was nominated for two news and documentary Emmy Awards as well as receiving various critics’ awards. Rossi is also the director of Le Cirque: A Table in Heaven, which screened on HBO, and was an associate producer on Jehane Noujaim’s Control Room.