20th Century Fox
Top-secret government files. The race to break the story first. Award-winning actors Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. “The Post” possesses every component of an eye-opening true story turned into a cinematic Hollywood drama. It is a must-see for every American, and I’m not just saying that because the movie revolves around journalism.
Director Steven Spielberg selected A-listers Streep and Hanks to portray Washington Post owner Katharine Graham and editor-in-chief Ben Bradlee, respectively. Needless to say, they both nailed their parts, and Streep is nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards this year.
The film focuses on the government’s cover-up involving the Vietnam War that went on for decades and was supported by several U.S. presidents. In the 1970s, writers and editors at The Washington Post discover that each president involved was too afraid to end the war because they didn’t want the loss to fall on them, among other secrets.
The New York Times was the first to break the story, but the government ordered them to halt publication until they were tried in the Supreme Court for violating the First Amendment. In the meantime, The Washington Post reporters obtain the secret “Pentagon Papers” and gather a story. Graham and Bradlee have a huge decision to make: should they publish the information the government is hiding from its people and risk being thrown in jail, or refrain from publishing and submit to the government’s wishes, letting their journalistic integrity be compromised?
The Supreme Court’s decision states, “In the First Amendment the Founding Fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.” “The Post” captures the importance of freedom of the press and its role in this country, which is a glaring reminder that we need free press in order to maintain a free and informed public. The term “Fake news” had not been coined at the time the film took place, and Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee tried their best to keep it that way. Because of daring journalists like them, the freedom of the press is still preserved (for now).
“The Post” is a Best Picture nominee at the Academy Awards; even the Academy believes it is worth the watch. Check out “The Post” if you’re looking for a gripping, historical drama that will shock you with its timeliness.