Someone once said, “timing is everything” and when it comes to the release of Steven Spielberg’s new film “The Post” that couldn’t be truer. In a day that the press is routinely attacked for fake news, and sometimes for even the true information it reports, “The Post” reminds us just how important the press can be in society. Telling a story like this takes a great team and joining Spielberg to do so are arguably two of the greatest actors of our generation, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. And you don’t need to wonder long why a dream team like this was assembled to tell this particular story? Because this it deserves it.
As we look back on the history of the Vietnam War we can see a lot of it is for what it was. Hindsight though is always 20/20 and while it was going on, we knew very little about what the truth really was. That changed when the New York Times was given classified information, or what would later be dubbed “The Pentagon Papers” which detailed the lies that were told by four presidents on why we were there and the other secrets that we were never supposed to know. The Government was not too keen on the release of this information and shut down the Times from releasing anymore of what they had. All while this was happening The Washington Post was mapping out its future by going public on the stock market and while they were a smaller paper compared to the Times, they shared in the Times opinion that the public deserved to know the truth. Soon the Post was given copies of the reports and came to a crossroads where they had to decide to keep things like they have always been or to serve the public’s best interest and deliver the news they needed to hear. What followed was the Government charging both the Times and The Post with a crime of espionage, that ended up before The Supreme Court in case that would remind this country just how important freedom of the press is.
As I watched “The Post” I couldn’t help but have a sense of pride swell up inside me as I watched the events unfold and seeing the people face-off against ‘big brother’. It’s hard not to think of this during our current situation regarding the delivery of news. Writers Liz Hannah and Josh Singer shows us how the events unfolded in one of the great victories for free speech while Spielberg delivers one of his better movies in the last fourteen years with this story. I say that believing we take for granted Spielberg and to an extent Streep and Hanks as well, since we know they make such good films, that it might be hard to recognize when they make a near perfect one. “The Post” will end up being one of those films that will be shown for years to come not just for what it is, but because the story it tells is so important to our democracy. This is what great film looks like and if you love cinema, you don’t want to miss watching a master at work.