Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library 12A


Please note: This was screened in July 2018

Frederick Wiseman
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Elvis Costello, Richard Dawkins
206 mins, 2018, USA

Legendary documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman turns his inquisitive eye behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world: the New York Public Library.

With 92 branches throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the library is committed to being a resource of knowledge as well as community support for the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city, and beyond. Wiseman goes behind the scenes to record animated board meetings, talks with guest speakers such as Elvis Costello and Patti Smith, book club events and donors’ dinners, as well as the day-to-day activity of lending books.

The end result of Wiseman’s patient, thoughtful style is a thought-provoking love letter to a model of inclusion and knowledge sharing, and a topical reminder of the preciousness of libraries everywhere.