The Post is a fast moving, courageous, shocking drama set in 1971. The movie runs for 116 minutes and stars Tom Hanks as Ben Bradlee, managing editor of The Washington Post and Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham, owner and publisher of “The Post”. Bradlee is committed to upholding the “freedom of press” by attempting to obtain and then publish secret documents exposing a massive cover up of government secrets relating to the Vietnam War. “The New York Times” has already obtained the documents and has been court ordered to stop publication of the secret documents via The Espionage Act of 1917
Background information: The Vietnam War was always a controversy. It lasted approximately 20 years while spanning the presidencies of Dwight Eisenhower(1953-1961), John F. Kennedy (1961-1963), Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969), Richard Nixon (1969-1974), and Gerald Ford (1974-1977). Over 58,220 American soldiers were killed. The purpose of the War seems to be to prevent the Communist takeover of South Vietnam by North Vietnam. In the end, a Paris Peace Accord ( peace treaty)was negotiated and U.S. troops were gradually withdrawn; but eventually South Vietnam fell to Communist North Vietnam.
Katharine Graham is a wealthy socialite who has inherited “The Post” from her late husband. She is soft spoken and unsure of herself. (The early seventies was a time when women were not taken seriously.) She hires Ben Bradlee to be her editor. Bradlee is always pushing Mrs. Graham to be a stronger, more independent publisher. At this time, Bradlee feels the public needs to be informed of the governmental cover up.
These top secret federal documents were slowly copied and “stolen” by American military analyst, Daniel Ellsberg played by Matthew Rhys. These documents contained deceptive information about covert operations and unsavory military practices, governmental spins and lies, and POWs who were declared deceased instead of missing in action.
“The Washington Post” receives boxes and boxes these top secret papers. Writers assemble at Ben Bradlee’s house begin to sort the papers and prepare articles for publishing. A restraining order is issued and Mrs. Graham must decide whether to play it safe by not publishing or maintain the integrity of the paper, risking her own freedom.
Although it has a few slow moments, (the lady sitting next to me fell asleep a few times), The Post is a really good movie. The race to publish was very suspenseful.
I enjoyed the trip in time back to the seventies. I was a young teenager then and I do not remember much about the Vietnam Nam War. I remember purchasing a POW bracelet and wearing it for years and years from a teen magazine. I remember watching people protesting the Vietnam Nam War on television. While watching this movie, I felt comforted and horrified at the same time. The time period props and clothing were familiar and reminiscent of a simpler time for me at least. However, the manner in which women were treated was alarming and their acceptance of this treatment even more so. It is also frightening to think about how our government seeks to control our thoughts and feelings.