USA | 122mins | M Offensive language
- Directed by Emilio Estevez (‘The Way’, ‘Bobby’, ‘The War at Home’)
- Starring Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Emilio Estevez, Christian Slater, Gabrielle Union, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright
- Written by Emilio Estevez
a low-key, uncondescending portrait of lives on the edge
New York Times
In “the public” an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place.
The story revolves around the library patrons, many of whom are homeless, mentally ill and marginalized, as well as an exhausted and overwhelmed staff of librarians who often build emotional connections and a sense of obligation to care for those regular patrons.
At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, the Patrons turn the building into a homeless shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in.
What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening.
This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.
it is a tribute to the cast that they manage to bring out the essence of the film, its political heart, so strongly.