Emilio Estevez’ The Public, an earnest film about an eventful two days in the life of a public librarian, had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Tuesday night. The film centers around Stuart Goodson, a city librarian whose pragmatic and equitable approach to his job is seen from the film’s beginning. He diffuses a dispute involving a mentally ill patron with the same patience that he uses to mentor a colleague through a career transition. In these early scenes, Estevez captures the day-to-day actions in a library with an almost documentary-like quality. We see librarians interact with an array of patrons in a variety of ways, and a montage of absurd reference questions serves as a way to illustrate the breadth of services librarians offer as well as provide some comic relief.
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