Monday, January 29, 2018

THE POST: A Film For Our Times

'Steven Spielberg directs Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks in The Post, a thrilling drama about the unlikely partnership between The Washington Post's Katharine Graham (Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, and editor Ben Bradlee (Hanks), as they race to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spanned three decades and four U.S. Presidents. The two must overcome their differences as they risk their careers - and their very freedom - to help bring long-buried truths to light. The Post marks the first time Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on a project. In addition to directing, Spielberg produces along with Amy Pascal and Kristie Macosko Krieger. The script was written by Liz Hannah and Josh Singer, and the film features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, David Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Bob Odenkirk, Sarah Paulson, Jesse Plemons, Matthew Rhys, Michael Stuhlbarg, Bradley Whitford and Zach Woods.'
THE POST is the second film my hubby and I have seen in two weeks. THE GREATEST SHOWMAN was the first. Up until now I couldn't tell you the last time we went to the movies but both of these were certainly well worth our time. Any project (THE POST) Steven Spielberg is associated with is excellent, and when coupled with the likes of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks, SUPERB, AWESOME, CAPTIVATING, THRILLING are just a few of the words that might do this movie some justice!
Spielberg tells the story of the Vietnam War (
which was one of the longest ever engaged in by our country. Thousands of soldiers gave their lives and thousands more were physically, mentally, and emotionally damaged. The American people were constantly told of how important this conflict was to ensure the freedom of the Vietnamese, and of how dependent they were upon our continued presence.

Unfortunately the data we were fed, beginning with our country's relationship with Vietnam under the Truman administration through that of Richard Nixon's presidency, was based on falsehoods. We were actually losing the war we should have never been involved in from the get-go. To admit this after so many years, so much bloodshed, and so much political manipulation was something Washington would never have even considered. Only when the government was exposed by the New York Times and then by the Washington Post for the gross mishandling of the Vietnam conflict, did Richard Nixon sign a ceasefire in January, 1973.

I believe this movie should be required viewing in every political science class in every high school in the U.S.A. I don't know how much today's teens know, if anything, about Vietnam, but since that war was such a pronounced part of our history, it would be a disservice to them to graduate without studying it as well as its devastating aftermath.

Our young people must realize that elected officials are human beings who make serious mistakes using poor judgement at times. They need to learn to discern what is right and just and true, and be willing to act upon their beliefs no matter what consequences might befall them. Some may even pursue a career in politics, and to those I strongly suggest they consider the past as a precursor of the future unless a different course of action is implemented when necessary.

I ask high school teachers across America to use THE POST as a springboard to initiate discussions on decision-making skills, freedom of speech, foreign policy and what situations warrant an act of warfare.

I was a teacher when the Vietnam War was in full swing. I worked side-by-side with a woman who lost her son in that horrible conflict. I listened to her lamentations and watched the tears roll down her cheeks. She would never see her son marry, have a family, and succeed in his chosen career. And all she wanted to know was "why"!

Blessings and Peace!

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