Director: Emilio Estevez
2019, 122 minutes, PG-13
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez, Jena Malone, Gabrielle Union
Distributor: Universal Pictures
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. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, some homeless patrons turn the building into a 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.
“Writer-director-star Emilio Estevez turns a library occupied by homeless citizens as ground zero for our under-fire democracy. Bravo!” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone