I have been to the cinema a lot lately, and I’m off again this Thursday to see Game Night, a very different kind of film to this wonderful drama which took me into an area of history I hadn’t properly explored before. Not only did ‘The Post’ have some amazing people involved – Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg (I mean what a trio!!) but these amazing people told an amazing story, a story of real importance – particularly in this age of ‘fake news’.
I studied American politics at A level and I really enjoyed it, and it was so nice to reconnect with an area of study that since going to university, I had somewhat abandoned. I’d heard of the Watergate scandal, I’d studied the Vietnam War, but I hadn’t heard of the Pentagon Papers before. To give a bit of background the Pentagon Papers showed that the Johnson Administration had “systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress”1 about the situation in Vietnam, and the film explores not only the cover-up and leaking of the papers, but also how the newspapers and other media deal with the information – to publish or not to publish!
One thing I really appreciated in the film, was how Meryl Streep’s character Katherine Graham was not always brave – she was not instantly able to stand-up to the men who pushed her aside, she did not make her decisions lightly – she was afraid. The reason I liked this was because it was realistic, and because it showed that for bravery to be significant it did not need to be one person against the world (something which only really happens in fantasy films), bravery can be making a tough decision because it is the right thing to do, it can be speaking when others tell you to be silent.
Overall, I am really glad that I went to this film, it was wonderfully done. This is a film that really has a story to tell, a story of great importance, and not just historically. After watching this film, I went on to read ‘All The President’s Men’ by Woodward and Bernstein (which also features Ben Bradlee – who I pictured in my mind, having seen The Post, as Tom Hanks) which tells the story of the Watergate Scandal. As The Post ends with the break-in at Watergate it was interesting for me to read about the story I had watched on screen, continue on the page.
Have a wonderful week,