As my undergraduate experience comes to a close, I hear the big wide world beyond Brown calling my name. I am eager to start doing meaningful work, to move to a new city, and to begin the rest of my life. However, there is one thing which I will refuse to give up when I leave the Van Wickle Gates. Let it be known that Brown University will have to pry my Kanopy account from my cold dead hands.
If University administrators believe that they can separate me from Kanopy’s fabulous selection of art house films, documentaries, foreign classics, indie flicks, and educational content, they are gravely mistaken. If they think for a second that they can deprive me of the Criterion Collection, landmarks of queer cinema, and a veritable goldmine of early Soviet silent films, they are out of their fucking minds.
The complimentary Kanopy subscription that Brown offers its students has been my rock for the past four years. Freed from the endless slog I would find on Netflix and Hulu, I’ve felt held, comforted, and consoled by Kanopy’s French New Wave offerings and its suite of Italian neorealist gems. This unparalleled streaming service has provided me with some of the greatest highs I’ve had in college: a rapturous evening in Keeney watching Battleship Potemkin, a chilling German Studies DUG screening of The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, a steamy midnight viewing of Jules and Jim with a new friend, who is now my lover. And Brown wants to take this all away from me? Not on my watch.
If the University actually intended to set students up for successful post-graduate lives, they wouldn’t dare revoke our access to the oasis of high-caliber cinema that is Kanopy. How will I scratch the itch that only Ingmar Bergman can? How will I ever find peace or fulfillment without a reliable means of watching Béla Tarr’s seven-hour 1994 masterpiece Sátántangó?
Some may counter that many public libraries offer Kanopy subscriptions with one’s library card. Well, I regret to inform you that my library’s Kanopy plan does not — I repeat, does not — include The Testament of Dr. Mabuse. So no, I will not be parting ways with my Brown Kanopy account. Even if it kills me.