Emilio Estevez’s film transports us into the world of a Cincinnatti public library simply called The Public. The film builds slowly as we get to meet head librarian Stuart Goodson (Emilio Estevez), librarian colleague Myra (Jena Malone) and get to know some of the patrons who frequent the library regularly.
We see that there is a bit of tension, friendly enough though, between Stuart and Myra. We also notice that many of the regulars are scruffy and bedraggled looking. We see some of them using the bathroom to tidy themselves up a little and make themselves a bit respectable.
At this point, I am wondering where the film is going to go with its portrayal. What I do know is that the world being portrayed feels very authentic to me. One group that public libraries attract is people from a low income with the free wi fi, the warm air conditioning, the comfortable seating, and the endless books, magazines and cds to look at. Continue reading THE PUBLIC : A FILM BY EMILIO ESTEVEZ→
THE PUBLIC is a new drama, written by, directed by and starring Emilio Estevez. It’s a film with plenty of social relevance as the spectre of homelessness and social disadvantage looms ever larger.
Also starring Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling and Christian Slater, THE PUBLIC, takes place in downtown Cincinnati during a particularly bitter winter where an Arctic blast has made its way to the front doors of the Public Library – where most of the film’s action takes place.
The story revolves around the library patrons, many of whom are homeless, mentally ill and marginalised, as well as the exhausted and overwhelmed staff of librarians who have not infrequently built emotional connections with these regular patrons, along with a sense of obligation to care for them. At odds with library officials as to how to handle the extreme weather 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-judgement by media who keep speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles the incredibly challenging issues of homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.
THE PUBLIC is due to release in cinemas on Thursday 1st August, 2019.
Sydney Arts Guide has ten in season double passes to give away to Estevez’s provocative film. To enter the draw email the Editor on email@example.com. Put The Public Promotion in the subject heading of your email. Please remember to put your postal address in the body of your email. Winners will be advised by email.