The Public

Rated NR 122 min. 2019

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 act as "de-facto social workers" and 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 inside the building. The story tackles some of our nation's most challenging issues, including homelessness and mental illness, and sets the dramedy inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

Film Credits

Director: Emilio Estevez

Writer: Emilio Estevez

Cast: Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Jena Malone, Alec Baldwin and Gabrielle Union

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