Opera House series to screen ‘The Public’

Emilio Estevez wrote, directed and stars in “The Public,” the latest film in the Opera House Cinema Series.

The next feature film in the Opera House Cinema Series is the moving drama “The Public,” written and directed by and starring Emilio Estevez.” It will be screened on Saturday, May 18, and Tuesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m.

After learning that shelters are at full capacity when a brutal cold front makes its way to Cincinnati, a large group of homeless people led by Jackson (Michael Kenneth Williams) refuse to leave the downtown public library at closing time. What begins as a nonviolent sit-in and ragtag act of civil disobedience quickly escalates into a standoff with local police and a no-nonsense crisis negotiator (Alec Baldwin), all as two librarians (Emilio Estevez and Jena Malone) are caught up in the middle of it.

Alexia Amoriello, in Film Inquiry, calls the film “heartfelt, humorous, and enlightening.” Stephen Schaefer, in the Boston Herald, calls it “a potent stew that finds humor, humanity and even grace in a society that often shows little compassion.” Adam Lubitow, in the Rochester City Newspapers, calls it “a thoughtful, compassionate drama that seeks to challenge its audience as much as it entertains.” Ben Kenigsberg, in the New York Times, says “Estevez does an elegant job with this setup, creating a low-key, uncondescending portrait of lives on the edge.” Rated PG-13 for thematic material, nudity, language, and some suggestive content, “The Public” runs two hours, two minutes.

The Opera House Cinema Series is sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank. Tickets are available at the door for $7 (adults), $6.50 (seniors & Opera House members) and $5 (students) the night of each screening. A book of 10 movie passes is available for $60 at the door or online at www.fredopera.org. Thanks to the generous support of an anonymous donor, the first 20 SUNY Fredonia students at each screening are admitted free. For more information, call the Opera House Box Office at 716-679-1891.

The Opera House is equipped with individualized closed captioning headsets for the deaf as well as with assistive listening headsets for the hearing-impaired. Simply request one from any usher or Opera House staff member.

The 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported not-for-profit performing arts center located in Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. For a complete schedule of events, visit www.fredopera.org.

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