'The Submit' Screenwriters on Movie's Timeliness within the Trump Period

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"If we live in a world where the government tells us what we can and cannot print", says Ben Bradlee by way of Tom Hanks, "the Washington Post has already ceased to exist".

Like "Spotlight", also co-written by "Post" co-scribe Josh Singer (writing here with Liz Hannah), this story encapsulates a watershed moment in journalism. Leaker Daniel Ellsburg covertly printed thousands of pages of Vietnam War files from the Rand Corporation, files that showed how the United States government systematically lied to Congress and to the public about its activities in Southeast Asia, including the broad and merciless bombing of Laos and Cambodia, which was at that time unreported in the mainstream. Good thing its craftsmanship and acting makes it more likely to wear the years well.

At first the Post is playing catch up with the Times' scoop, but when the White House gets an injunction against any further revelations from the Pentagon Papers being published by the Times, the Post steps up: It has gotten its hands on the documents too. They are convincing as colleagues who don't always agree but who always respect each other.

When no one would listen to Ellsberg, he did what many whistleblowers do: he leaked the report to the New York Times.


Meanwhile, Ellsberg's papers make it to the New York Times, which starts publishing exclusive excerpts to Bradlee's great chagrin.

The story has been crafted so as to understand why the decisions are taken then we're hard and puts in place the suspense as to how the decisions were made.

When Trump or his staff sit down to watch "The Post", not only will they be treated to a whip-smart thriller and a moving drama, they might also learn valuable lessons about the free press's constitutionally protected role in keeping a check on unlimited presidential power.

But the scenes in the newsroom feel flat and underwhelming, the staffers featured seemingly clueless as they struggle with what to do next.


Streep is quite wonderful as Graham, taking us on a journey from the unsure-of-herself woman (who had taken over the paper when her husband Phil killed himself in 1963) to a publisher willing to take chances.

Even though anyone who knows the history knows what will end up happening, the suspense is still palpable. But since this is 1971, and since this is near the beginning of one of the biggest political crises in our nation's history, it's unlikely that Graham can stay in her comfort zone for long.

- You need to see The Post. Carey tweeted Sunday night that she grabbed the first seat she could find and apologized upon realizing she was sitting in Streep's chair. "Show" partner David Cross. Washington, D.C.is not a large enough town to have a national brand name paper and of course, she's a woman.

In the Supreme Court's response to the Pentagon Papers, Justice Hugo Black wrote that America's founders affirmed freedom of the press "to serve the governed, not the governors". The film is a love letter to old newspapers, the camera lingering on the typesetters toiling on Linotype machines, and conveyor belts sending newspapers high into the sky as if they were delivering today's edition directly to the heavens. Make sure to do it before the deadline of 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 15 and then we'll randomly pick one of you to win the CD. And a reminder that everyone needs to be welcomed, and listened to, in the fight.


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