By Casey Campbell
There’s a beautiful and unexpected blend of mediums between film and journalism. Whether it be through film journalism, or films about journalism, the two work when brought together. Steven Spielberg’s latest historical drama The Post thrillingly follows the true story behind the notorious publishing of The Pentagon Papers in 1971, and the way the First Amendment was upheld despite volatile efforts to quiet the media from then President Nixon. Even though it seems to take aim at America, it’s one of the most purely patriotic films I’ve ever seen.
Like 2015’s Boston Globe film Spotlight, The Post eschews Hollywood drama for realistic depictions of journalists working their hardest to spread the truth. That’s not to say the film isn’t inherently dramatic though, as Spielberg’s riveting direction turns a story about something as boring as newspapers into a high-stakes character driven thrill ride.
The Post is a story that is very timely. The press is regularly attacked and the president is repeating history by keeping journalistic outlets from reporting within the grounds of the White House. The Post is timely and brings home the point, sometimes like a hammer to the head, though it always works and it always feels important. The heavy symbolism may be blunt, but that’s because it needs to be.