Facing the Music

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Anne Boyd is a well-respected composer and educator who headed up the music faculty at the University of Sydney, one of Australia's oldest institutions of higher learning. In Australia, colleges and universities have traditionally been financed by the federal government, and a call for tighter educational budgets has been tied to the cause of economic rationalism -- the notion that since the arts and humanities aren't "practical" or directly lead to traditional jobs in the private sector, they should be at the bottom of the list of educational priorities. When rationalists decided to cut the budget of the University of Sydney's music department, the University's teacher's union planned to formally protest the decision, and Boyd was among the first to oppose the union's actions, calling them "undignified." Over the course of a year, after seeing her department's budget slashed by 70,000 dollars, her teaching schedule boosted from six to 20 hours a week, and the failure of private institutions to step forward to support one of the nation's best respected music schools, Boyd made a surprising transformation from a political conservative to an active instigator of protests against further budget cuts that would "dumb down" higher education and eliminate arts education. However, as Boyd began to rally support for the University's school of music, their budget was further slashed, forcing her to resign the post that meant so much to her. Documentary filmmakers Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson were on hand to capture this tumultuous year in Anne Boyd's life on film, and Facing the Music is the feature-length documentary that was their result. Produced for Australian television, the film earned enthusiastic reviews in its screenings at several film festivals, including the 2001 Sydney Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Critic Reviews for Facing the Music

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

  • Few social scientists are able to enliven an issue like Connolly and Anderson, and few documentarians have their dramatic intuition.

    Apr 23, 2002 | Full Review…
  • Keeps the audience squarely focused on the human dimension of Australia's educational crisis.

    Apr 30, 2002 | Full Review…
  • If a year in the life of a university department head doesn't sound like the stuff of a riveting documentary, please allow this stirring film by husband and wife filmmakers Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson to change your mind.

    Apr 26, 2002 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

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