Paper Soldiers: War on the Press
‘The Post’ delves into how a newspaper fought for the truth about Vietnam War scandals
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In this evocative drama, The Post director Steven Spielberg manages to enthrall moviegoers of all ages by capturing the challenges and triumphs that the journalists of the Washington Post, and its first female publisher Katharine Graham, experienced in their race to expose vital information previously hidden by the U.S. government, despite the possible destruction of their careers in 1971.
The film recalls the scandals of the Vietnam War that spanned three decades, involved four presidents, and the duty of American journalists, at a time when their role was more critical than ever to relay information and educate the public. Graham, portrayed by Meryl Streep, evolves from an erratic woman thrust into the harsh and quick-paced newspaper industry after her husband’s’ suicide forced her to take over, to a revolutionary woman whose call to unravel the American government’s’ web of lies, paved the way for a “small rebellion” of renewed duty to Americans to report the truth even in adversity.
The Post is nothing short of powerful. Its modern relevance is shown when Graham walks down the Supreme Court stairs after she won not only the right to publish without limitation, but also as a feminist paving the way for future generations of female journalists to come. It is relevant because in today’s society and politics, it reminds the audience that there is always someone bold enough to scream the truth, and there is always someone passionate enough to listen, even in ever-changing times.
The Vietnam War is undoubtedly one of the most jarring events in U.S. history as it was a period of tragic sacrifice, humility, and distrust in the government. Spielberg’s The Post relays the struggle of how the Pentagon Papers emerged, the war on political corruption, and the fundamental human hope that always perseveres.