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The Public.

"Writer-director-star Emilio Estevez turns a library occupied by homeless citizens as ground zero for our under-fire democracy. Bravo!" - Rolling Stone

The United States was founded on organized rebellion, its First Amendment celebrating "the right of the people peaceably to assemble." But what happens when the outcasts of American society assemble in the very home of free expression? Drawing on the clash of perspectives now galvanizing America and beyond, Emilio Estevez has crafted a drama that returns politics to a human level. The Public is a story of resistance for right now.

It begins quietly enough in a Cincinnati library on a winter's day. Stuart (Estevez) and Myra (Jena Malone) do their best to manage the daily assortment of knowledge seekers, loiterers, and homeless people who frequent their branch. It's freezing outside. As closing time draws near, Jackson (The Wire 's Michael K. Williams) sparks an act of civil disobedience among his fellow library patrons who have nowhere to sleep. They refuse to leave, defying first the entreaties of the library staff, then a local political operative (Christian Slater), and soon a team of riot police led by Detective Ramstead (Alec Baldwin), a hard-charging crisis negotiator. Outside, a TV reporter (Gabrielle Union) juices up the story for the wider world.

With this terrific cast, The Public lays out the conflicts between rights and responsibilities, empathy, and authority.

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