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 editor.sydneyartsguide@gmail.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.