In 1975, Marion Stokes got a Betamax magnetic videotape recorder and began recording bits of sitcoms, science documentaries, and political news coverage. From the outset of the Iran Hostage Crisis on November 4, 1979, “she hit record and she never stopped,” said her son Michael Metelits in Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project, a newly released documentary about his mother and the archival project that became her life’s work.
Months before its release, friends and family began sending me links to the movie trailer for “The Public.” It made them think of me, they said.
In the film, a passion project of actor-director Emilio Estevez, homeless patrons, unable to face another night in the subzero Cincinnati winter, refuse to leave, and “occupy” the public library. While critics and moviegoers may view aspects of “The Public” as dramatic license, for me it was the first time I ever saw my job reflected on the screen accurately.