Steven Spielberg’s new film The Post is set in 1971 and is a thrilling drama telling the story of The Washington Post’s first female publisher Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep) and her relationship with the paper’s editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) in a male dominated world.
The film highlights the unlikely partnership they form as they try to expose government secrets first beating The New York Times.
These secrets known as the Pentagon Papers spanned three decades and four US presidents and contained details of the failure of the Vietnam War.
The story sees both newspapers facing a federal injunction from President Nixon which goes all the way to the Supreme Court.
As a journalist, I loved this film firstly because I work in a newspaper and believe strongly in the importance of the press but also because it highlights the necessity of freedom of speech.
Quality journalism is the life blood of keeping governments accountable and as we step back in time to the 70s we see something that is just as relevant today.
Streep’s performance as Katharine Graham is superb, her character development as she becomes empowered and finally stands up for herself as the rightful owner and head of The Washington Post is moving
The consummate performances of Streep and Hanks and the all star support cast make this snap shot of American history a must see film.
In a time when good journalism is being lost in newsrooms The Post is a strong reminder of the importance of the press.
It’s poignant that Streep’s character says towards the end of the film, “The news is the first rough draft of history” and the Chief Justice says, “… the press was to serve the governed not the governors.”
The level of detail and the quality of film making from shooting on 35mm film to costumes and props ensures the authenticity of the 1970s.
The Post is one of the stand out films of the year for me. It encapsulates world affairs, women’s rights, justice and the essential role of quality journalism and accountable media in society.
In Cinemas from January 11.