Words: Natalie Keane
Releasing in theatres on January 12, The Post, directed by Steven Spielberg, tells the true story of Washington Post journalists in 1971, in the midst of the Vietnam War. The film portrays their efforts in publishing the Pentagon Papers to expose private information about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War, a topic that the Nixon administration had been hiding from America for almost two decades since the war had begun.
The movie focuses on the story of Katharine Graham, played by Meryl Streep, who is the lead publisher of the Washington Post and the first woman to be the publisher of a major American newspaper. For the Pentagon Papers to be published, she and editor Ben Bradlee, played by Tom Hanks, must gain on The New York Times as both papers strive to publicize strictly classified documents that the American government had been hiding for years. Doing this means risking their jobs, their company, and even their own freedom, to bring the truth to light.
The message of the film can significantly be related to current events, despite the event happening almost 50 years ago. It’s about the importance of the First Amendment, and the ongoing battle over how much power the government truly has over the media. This movie emphasizes that the press exists not to serve the government, but to serve those who live under it. And as it’s proven, democracy cannot exist without freedom of the press.
It relates to the conversation happening all across the country today, about the president himself being able to control or filter what is put into journalistic media. Whether it be television, radio, print, or even the internet, doing so would conflict with the powers that are given to him in the Constitution. This movie shows that it’s the responsibility of media and news sources to reveal matters like this to the public eye, and in our world today, this film stands as a reminder of how vital, and valuable, the truth can be.
The opinions stated in this article do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the Wingspan staff as a whole.
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