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Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (2017)

A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.


Frederick Wiseman

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5 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Ta-Nehisi Coates Ta-Nehisi Coates ... Himself
Elvis Costello ... Himself
Richard Dawkins ... Himself
Edmund de Waal Edmund de Waal ... Himself
Carolyn Enger Carolyn Enger ... Herself
Miles Hodges Miles Hodges ... Himself
Paul Holdengräber Paul Holdengräber ... Himself
Yusef Komunyakaa Yusef Komunyakaa ... Himself
Anthony Marx Anthony Marx ... Himself
Khalil Gibran Muhammad Khalil Gibran Muhammad ... Himself
Candace Broecker Penn Candace Broecker Penn ... Herself
Patti Smith ... Herself
Jessica Strand Jessica Strand ... Herself


A look within the walls of the New York Public Library.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

1 November 2017 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Ex Libris: Die Public Library von New York See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,926, 17 September 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$158,192, 22 February 2018
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (Mainland China Cut Version)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Not a dull moment in 197 minutes
23 March 2018 | by anagram14See all my reviews

OK, I'm biased. I love libraries. If you don't, let it be. If you do, prepare for bliss. The movie wanders from one branch of the NYPL to the other in a way that seems aimless at first, but builds a rhythm that becomes almost musical while remaining completely natural. The glimpses we get of what's happening at every branch tell an uplifting story. A library is no longer just a place to store books. It serves its patrons in surprising ways: providing Internet access and teaching computer skills; hosting groups of young parents with toddlers chanting nursery rhymes together; not evicting the odd homeless person who dozes off there in winter; finding private funding for what the unreliable distributors of public spending won't cover this year. Where this venerable institution really comes into its own, though, is in providing a platform for all the incredibly articulate and inspiring people who keep popping up throughout the movie. What a joy to watch. Discussions, lectures, interviews, concerts, poetry, passionate arguments, everything nerds thrive on. And not just nerds. Elvis Costello and Patti Smith are among the guests. Keith Richards is on record as saying that the library was the only place where he willingly obeyed the rules. Toni Morrison called libraries pillars of democracy. I was a believer before seeing this. Now I know why. If you are too, this is a must.

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