Ex Libris: The New York Public Library, Dir. Frederick Wiseman, USA, 2017, 197 mins
Documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman (In Jackson Heights, National Gallery, At Berkeley) delves into the inner workings of the New York Public Library, one of the greatest public institutions in New York City with a rich and layered range of community services. Clips of public presentations with the library’s guest speakers including Richard Dawkins, Elvis Costello, Patti Smith and Ta-Nehisi Coates are intermixed with footage capturing board meetings about the digitisation of information, led by the library’s president Anthony Marx, and classes teaching young blind children how to read Braille. This epic three hour film features the formidable events unfolding within the institution as well as the community surrounding it, striving to uphold the values of learning, education and culture in a time when truth and science are under threat.