Beginning off as a walk in the shoes of librarians at a city public library, The Public soon becomes a thought-provoking spotlight on social issues hitting community hubs around the world.
Directed and written by, and starring Emilio Estevez, The Public centres around librarian Stuart Goodson (Estevez) and his friendship with a small group of homeless library patrons during one bitter winter. When refugees and shelters are over capacity, Jackson (played by Michael Kenneth Williams) gathers his friends to stage a sit-in at the library as a silent protest.
Outnumbered and unwilling to turn them out, Goodson stays to ensure a non-violent act of democracy. Unbeknownst to Goodson, the media and the police are painting him as ring-leader, which soon turns to mud-slinging and inaccurate reporting. Key negotiator, Detective Ramstead (played by Alec Baldwin) is called in, on a night where he should be out trying to find his own son Mike who has disappeared. He appeals to Goodson’s good character to see if Mike might be among those taking shelter inside the library.
It sets the stage for a number of characters to be good citizens but who in the end succumb to their own ambitions. Like the inexperienced journalist Rebecca Parks (played by Gabrielle Union) with evidence to show a peaceful demonstration, but chooses to boost her own social status over truth by manufacturing a hostage situation. And the prosecutor Josh Davis (played by Christian Slater) running for mayor who shuns the potential campaign-winning opportunity to show he’s a man for the people, for a well-trodden David and Goliath battle with riot police.
The Public opens Thursday 1 August 2019 in Australian cinemas.
About The Public
Directed by Emilio Estevez
Written by Emilio Estevez
Stars: Emilio Estevez, Jena Malone, Alec Baldwin, Jeffrey Wright, Taylor Schilling, Michael Kenneth Williams, Christian Slater.