Ex Libris – The Public Library von New York

A film by Fre­de­rick Wise­man.  In Eng­lish with Ger­man sub­tit­les.

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Cine­ma­ti­cal­ly vivi­sec­ting US-insti­tu­ti­ons sin­ce 1967, Fre­de­rick Wise­man has been able to sus­tain inte­rest throughout his docu­men­ta­ry epi­cs becau­se his obser­va­tio­nal approach insists that dra­ma is woven into the fab­ric of ever­y­day life. EX LIBRIS begins by intro­du­cing the NYPL as a public-pri­va­te part­ners­hip. Whe­ther sit­ting in on free talks by gre­at thin­kers like Pat­ti Smith, obser­ving a job fair in the Bronx, or pee­king into a down­town record­ing stu­dio. – Wise­man boun­ces bet­ween three dif­fe­rent boroughs without ever losing sight of how the Libra­ry sur­vi­ves by giving peop­le the resour­ces they need. “Libra­ries are not about books,” someo­ne says in the film, “libra­ries are about peop­le.” As EX LIBRIS makes clear, the NYPL is more than just a repo­si­to­ry of dus­ty hard­co­vers. It’s a tree with 92 bran­ches, and deep roots that bind new york city tog­e­ther. It’s a living orga­nism that allows peop­le to bet­ter dis­co­ver and con­tex­tua­li­ze their place in this world. But the main source of con­ten­ti­onof this film — is the ques­ti­on of digi­tiz­a­ti­on. Wise­man is fasci­na­ted by how an insti­tu­ti­on of this size and signi­fi­can­ce tran­si­ti­ons from a pas­si­ve archi­ve to an acti­ve part of the com­mu­ni­ty.
(David Ehr­lich)

 

Credits:
USA 2017, 206 Min., engl. OmU,
Regie, Buch, Schnitt:Fre­de­rick Wise­man

 

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