Ivory Tower

2014

Documentary / Family / History / News

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 84% · 51 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 87% · 1K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.0/10 10 1403 1.4K

Director

Top cast

720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
834.4 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 5
1.67 GB
1920*1080
English 5.1
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 30 min
Seeds 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Austin392hemi 8 / 10

Tackles a subject that needs more attention.

This movie was on CNN tonight and it was a heck of a lot more informative than another two hours on CNN of what "might happen" to Bill Cosby's career. Or "when" the grand jury MIGHT decide in Ferguson. This movie to me was very informative and passionate too. The subject of rising college tuitions and what to do about it is very tough. And good points were brought out pro and con. The sad part is a normal kid like myself back in the (gulp) 70s could GO TO COLLEGE if the desire was there. You could work your way through college and even student loans were within reason. It is sad that my generation has failed miserably to afford the same opportunity. Which brings me to the one part of the movie that was blatantly missing. WHY? They skimmed over . . .no ignored completely the burning question of cause. How on earth can tuition for ONE semester go from $200 to $25,000 in less than 30 years?

Reviewed by jdeureka 7 / 10

"Ivory Tower" rates an A+ -- Yet is profoundly lacking

"Ivory Tower" is very good and the best thing that I know of to date on this subject.

But. It is the tip of a Mount Everest of an iceberg. It is by no means exhaustive.

For example, "Ivory Tower" does not consider the alternative models of higher education that work elsewhere. This is an abysmal crack in the middle of this otherwise A+ contemporary piece of documentary investigative journalism.

For starters, why not consider the viable alternative models of higher education -- their traditions & place within their own indigenous cultures -- in Europe? And what the USA can learn from them? Europe is, after all, the taproot of US higher education. For at least a decade now there's been a wave of young Americans who come to Europe for affordable, excellent higher education. Reverse immigration -- is this not tragic? Why the myopia in "Ivory Tower" which suggests this crisis is only a US problem or only has a US solution? On one level this documentary is like the "World Series" in US baseball --which pretty much excludes the rest of the world.

That said, this is otherwise an excellent news piece about a deeply troubled, divided time in US Higher Education. There's almost a percolating Civil War. For "Ivory Tower" is also about the larger crisis in US social mobility. Plus suggests an institutional crisis in teachers' failure to deal with this problem in conjunction with their students -- since they together are the front line soldiers in this struggle.

The film's frustration is satisfying. It honestly exposes a problem that will not go away because of solutions proposed by the US government (local or national) or by the utopianism of digital technology.

The solution is somehow with The People -- as the Cooper Union segment ironically shows. Yet The People are oddly passive. Why? "Ivory Tower" is right. The USA's higher education system is either being deeply restructured to favor an economic elite or America is witnessing the destruction of the older, GI-Bill, democratic model of the dynamic engine of college education & social mobility.

Yet in "Ivory Tower" are the key fissures even identified? This is more of a cry, a frantic waving for help. And you can't tell if the troubled figure is waving or drowning.

What & where are the tools needed to fix US higher education? And "education" meaning what? Do Americans themselves fundamentally believe in intellectual education or practical training? Why is there such a profound lack of agreed-upon national levels for skills and knowledge? Why in effect are so many "nonprofit" universities dysfunctional, profit-making corporations? Why the blood-sucking banks living off of student loans and ex-students' careers ruined, stifled, threatened because of the student loan Sword of Damocles? Does this problem exist because, at heart, the USA is deeply anti-intellectual? Because other values rate higher? Like success or money or privilege and pleasure? What now? Thank you.

Reviewed by ArchonCinemaReviews 8 / 10

Exhaustive documentary skewed toward ultimate conclusion that benefit < cost

Ivory Tower is a comprehensive examination into the typically vast cost and perceived benefit from higher education in America and directed by Andrew Rossi.

As a good or service, higher education in the form of undergraduate studies' cost has grown significantly faster than inflation or any other comparable product. Filmmaker and documentarian Andrew Rossi analyzes the value added by a baccalaureate degree and the associated knowledge and experience gained through various individual case studies in Ivory Tower.

With one of the highest sticker prices of any country to attend college, American tuition has skyrocketed exponentially and significantly quicker than any other good. This is a fact and the tuition of the aughts is no longer remotely comparable to the tuition costs of even twenty to thirty years ago.

As a potential viewer of the film Ivory Tower, If you have thought that the university education system in the United States is flawed then you should enjoy this feature. As a documentary, Ivory Tower is extremely informative and covers the American upper education sector extensively. It does so by going into the historical events that significantly affected and resulted in how the American education system ended up in its current state when necessary but does not reflect the brunt of the film.

Primarily Andrew Rossi, director and writer of the documentary who gained his education from both Harvard and Yale either ironically or influentially, uses individual experiences and case studies as personal snap shots of the university experience to engage viewers. Of the inclusive archetypes, he touches base on: Harvard/the ivy league experience, Cooper Union/free education, state colleges via out of state students/aka party schools, -only colleges (women's and historically black), hacked education, public schools, community colleges, and Deep Springs College/super-specialty schools.

Further Rossi enlists esteemed Presidents and professors from the aforementioned schools and interviews them at length to get their opinions on the benefit versus the cost facing most American parents and prospective students. Further, he speaks with CEOs of companies that offer scholarships to those that drop out of colleges and authors of acclaimed novels that analyze his own hypothesis. The access Rossi gains to the colleges, students, complexes and experts is far-reaching and pretty unparalleled.

Ivory Tower is a film that stretches only 90minutes but the wide breadth of information is encyclopedic without being droning, dry or eye-glaze-over worthy. My only two complaints are that his direction is definitely skewed toward college not being worth the cost (overall), especially if it is the 'traditional' undergraduate experience. Additionally, his cinematography was very uninspired given his luck of being present during news-worthy affairs transpired at the schools he was filming and overall the film had a removed History-channel vibe.

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