Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Reviewing the Movie The Post

Based on real events

newspaper post
Newspaper post image from Pixabay.com
My husband and I recently watched the movie The Post directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. I would like to review it for you this morning. Let me just start off with saying that I am shocked that it did not receive any academy awards. It was nominated but was shunned at the ceremony for the Oscars. 

The movie is based on actual events in our nation's history. In my humble opinion those events were quite significant and often overlooked in society today. Basically the story is about the battle between the press and our government over what is allowed to be published for the public to read and what should be suppressed from being printed. The battle at the time was over whether newspapers had a right to publish classified documents showing the shady and deceitful decisions of our government concerning Viet Nam. The documents became known as The Pentagon Papers. These classified documents spanned four decades documenting the government's real involvement in Southeast Asia and how they had lied to the American people. These papers were first leaked to the New York Times and later to the Washington Post. 

At the time, the Washington Post was owned by Katharine Graham. This was 1971 when Graham was not just the only woman publisher of a newspaper but the very first woman to run a large newspaper in the United States. The movie shows quite accurately the general opinion of most men that a woman was not capable of running a business. It was a different time with very different viewpoints about the capability of the female population. Those of us who were young women at the time will be able to relate to how Katharine was treated and talked to back then. 

The Pentagon Papers revealed to the American public that our government had lied to them. They had interfered in elections in South Viet Nam, had continued to send our boys over there even when they knew that there was no way that the war could be won or ended. Obviously, the government did not want the public to know about any of this and when the Times published the first installments of the papers the Nixon Administration slapped an injunction on them to cease and desist. The Washington Post now had copies of the classified documents and Katharine had to decide whether to publish or bury it. Her advisers, board members and bankers were telling her to not publish but her heart and her instincts couldn't follow that advice. She was a very courageous woman! 

The case of government vs the press was decided by the Supreme Court. In a 6-3 decision the court upheld the freedom of the press protected by our forefathers in the Constitution. Some of the justices sitting on the court felt that something like this was exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they added that first amendment preventing the government from interfering with distribution of information and opinions. 

This movie relating an historical event that I actually lived through, moved me in many different ways. I actually want to watch it again. It brought back so many memories of those events and times. I sincerely think that this movie is important for young people to watch. My generation was being put down at the time for questioning the motives of our government; turns out we had a right to question. From an historical perspective, it is important that the younger generations get a feel for where we were and how far we have come. 

I highly recommend The Post to you. If you are my age, you will most likely remember this time in 1971. If you are younger, you should know about this time in our country. 




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

5 comments:

  1. Oh this should be an interesting movie for all of us baby boomers (that is our unofficial title, isn't it). I still have problems with believing everything that I see printed. Questioning makes us understand a little better, believing everything we read though, needs to be challenged. Every paper in print has its own agenda, whether with the government or against.....

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  2. It's hard to believe I haven't seen this movie, but I have not. I am certain I would remember it. More recent events will most likely influence my thoughts during the movie, but I look forward to watching it! I do believe people should know the truth about our government and our leaders. Not the personal lives, but about their actions taken on behalf of our country. I can't help but say, I do want the press to be honest based on substantiated facts though and not just write "opinions" or lies. There is a place for commentaries and opinions, but that is not news. Clearly, Katharine Graham had substantiated facts and was ordered to suppress the information so our "leaders" could continue doing what Americans would not back, especially with their children's lives. That is deplorable!!!

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  3. I somehow never saw this movie either, but definitely want to now that I've read your review, Beverly. The press can be too "out there" at times and sometimes base their news on biased opinions and not on the true facts, but I believe the real truth SHOULD be reported without censure.

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  4. I haven't sat down to watch this one yet, but I know I'll enjoy it. Your excellent review has enticed me to watch it sooner than I would otherwise. The press and the government is an interesting push and pull. I remember I was about 11 years old or so during the Nixon years and interested in politics since that age. Living in Canada I was fascinated about what was happening south of the border.

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  5. I absolutely loved this movie, like you I couldn't believe that it didn't win any awards.

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