Amagansett resident Alec Baldwin is back on the big screen to tell a dramatic tale about two library employees faced with a question of basic human rights. The Public, which first premiered on the East Coast during the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) on October 5, follows two librarians faced with a big moral dilemma: let the homeless sleep there for the night or turn them in to the police.
The trailer, released on February 28, shows the film’s director, Emilio Estevez, as Stuart, a librarian at a Cincinnati public library who tries his best to keep order with the diverse group of people who frequent the library. At the end of a bitter cold winter day Stuart and his fellow employee Myra (Jena Malone) are getting ready to close up when Jackson (Michael K. Williams), a homeless man, stages a sit-in so that he and his fellow homeless people won’t be left to die in the cold.
Soon the library is surrounded by cop cars and reporters, including (Gabrielle Union) who is determined to exaggerate the story to boost ratings. Baldwin plays Detective Ramstead, the crisis negotiator who partners up with political operative (Christian Slater) who will stop at nothing to remove the homeless people from the property. The situation escalates to the point when Stuart and Myra are considered part of an act of civil disobedience, whether they’re fully prepared to accept the consequences or not. The trailer shows Stuart asking Jackson why he’s doing this to which he responds, “To let them know we still matter.”
There have been several private screenings in libraries across the country and showings at film festivals such as HIFF and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and The Public will receive a wide theatrical release on April 5, 2019.
Read more about The Public at filmguide.hamptonsfilmfest.org.