There’s a beautiful moment in the film where The Washington Post publisher Katharine “Kay” Graham (Meryl Streep) steps out of a courthouse after making a case for press freedom.
As she makes her way down a long flight of stairs, filled with a sea of reporters and onlookers, she passes by a group of women. Kay simply looks at them, and they at her. Neither she nor the women say anything, and yet the scene says a lot about a woman making her mark in the male-dominated journalism industry in the 1970s.
What I love about The Post is it hinges its message of female empowerment, just one of the film’s many messages, on an unlikely figure.
Kay doesn’t come off as immediately strong and fearless. She became the first female publisher of a major American newspaper, after her husband, who ran the paper, committed suicide.
Thrown into the deep end all of a sudden, she is, understandably, a little unsure of herself. Kay has to learn the ropes and find her voice in a boardroom filled with men who have been in the newspaper business all their lives.
Kay’s resilience is put to the test when she has to decide whether to publish then-classified documents that would expose damaging secrets about the US government.
But The Post isn’t just a female-centric story. And while set in the world of journalism, it isn’t just for journalists either. The film is about courage – courage to do what’s right, courage to inspire change, no matter who you are.
There have been some criticisms saying the film doesn’t give a complete picture of Kay and of what happened. Viewers will have to do their own research and judge for themselves.
Despite that, The Post is a thoroughly inspiring and satisfying watch.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Alison Brie, Bruce Greenwood, Tracy Letts, Matthew Rhys, Carrie Coon and Jesse Plemons.