The Public

The Public is an American movie about homeless people occupying a public library one night during winter. Before the occupation starts, the depiction of what it’s like to work in a library is TOO TRUTH. Defo recognisable to anyone who’s worked in one.

The occupation starts out of humanitarian need, but becomes politicised during the city’s mayoral race. It’s lead by Michael K. Williams (that’s Omar from The Wire to you and me) and aided by the librarian, played by Emilio Estavez, who also wrote and directed the movie. Despite an A-list cast including Jeffrey Wright and Alex Baldwin, the performances are flat and feel fake. It also doesn’t help that almost nothing that happens makes sense. The librarian spends the evening negotiating with the police despite not having any leverage. No one is armed, no one is a hostage, this is exactly the time when the polis just boot fuck out you and drag you outside. Like every American movie with an explicit left-wing political message, it’s heavy-handed and overly long.