Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

NR, 197 minutes

With this 41st film of his celebrated career, 87-year-old documentary master Wiseman (In Jackson Heights) brings his breathtakingly expansive humanism and utopian idealism to an in-depth portrait of the New York Public Library, an institution that proves to be as steeped in wisdom and as savvy in its perception of the cultural currents of the times as the filmmaker himself. As Wiseman surveys the fascinating inner workings and public manifestations of the library at its iconic Fifth Avenue Beaux-Arts home base, its 92 branches, and its online community, the democratic ideal of knowledge for all rolls out in diverse and engaging scenarios worthy of a gripping drama, making this one of Wiseman’s all-time best. (2017, Frederick Wiseman, US, 197 min, NR, English)

“MAGNIFICENT… a documentary that builds with intellectual force and deep emotion as it shows, again and again, citizens — interested, questioning, seeking — joining together to listen to one another and to learn from one another. In EX LIBRIS, democracy is alive and in the hands of a forceful advocate and brilliant filmmaker, which helps make this one of the greatest movies of Mr. Wiseman’s extraordinary career and one of his most thrilling.” -The New York Times

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