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The Films of Ernest Kleinberg: The Edge of Greatness (Stanford University)

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Published on Nov 3, 2012

An intense and passionate exploration of what is a university.

In 1961-2 Stanford University commissioned Ernest Kleinberg to make a full-length film in support of the university's development campaign. Kleinberg wrote and produced a film discussing the mission of a university, which opens with Stanford's then President asking, "What about us? Do we pass our test?"

After tracing the historical development of universities and of academic freedom, the film portrays the student experience of making choices, discussing issues, learning, reflection, research, travel and recreation.

Woven into the film are discussions of sensitive topics including the male-female student ratio, curriculum design, racial discrimination, and in the film's culminating sequence, the conflict between freedom of inquiry versus political power and orthodoxy. Kleinberg raises this theme through an original enactment by Stanford drama students, in full costume, of Galileo defending his work from the Inquisition.

This was too much for Stanford's administration. They insisted on removing more than 30 minutes of controversial material and inserting more conventional marketing into the version used to support their campaign. Kleinberg's name was removed from the film, along with Galileo.

Here, after 50 years, the full producer's version of the film which includes all the deleted scenes is released for all to appreciate. Produced in 1963.

Ernest Kleinberg (1910-1980) was born in Breslau, Germany. He grew up in Vienna, where he became a photographer for American news agencies and Life magazine. In March 1938 he was arrested by the Gestapo for photographing Hitler's march into Vienna. Released six weeks later thanks to pressure from American friends, he escaped to New York where he resumed photography and rescued his entire family from Nazi Austria. In the early 1950s he became a self-taught film producer. He subsequently completed more than 25 documentary movies.

Click this link for other films by Ernest Kleinberg:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search...

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