'Starving the Beast,' a new documentary film addressing budget cuts to higher education, will screen this month as part of the Wisconsin Film Festival in Madison.
An article in The Capital Times explained that the film title “is a play on a term used to describe the conservative tactic of cutting taxes to force the federal government to reduce spending. In the context of the film, 'starving the beast' means cutting funding to public universities to force them to fail and then blaming them for it."
The documentary focuses on how this "starvation" strategy is playing out at the University of Wisconsin, University of Virginia, University of North Carolina, Louisiana State University, University of Texas, and Texas A&M.
Noel Radomski, director and associate researcher of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE) was interviewed for the film, which premiered at SXSW in Austin, Texas, in March. The politics behind Gov. Scott Walker’s defunding of the University of Wisconsin and his moves to curtail tenure are explored in the film.
Radomski says that “the film is unique in illustrating external efforts to change the purpose and decrease the public investment in colleges and universities in several states.”
'Starving the Beast' will be shown Wednesday, April 20, at 6 pm, at the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, and Thursday, April 21, at 2:45 pm, at Sundance Cinema 6. A Q&A will follow the Wednesday showing, featuring Radomski with Director Steve Mims and Producer Bill Banowsky. Tickets are available online.
Watch the trailer for 'Starving the Beast.'