Spielberg's The Post aimed at people 'starving for the truth'

Hollywood heavyweight Steven Spielberg's new movie The Post may be set in 1971, but its theme about press freedom is highly relevant today.

Which is why he rushed to get the political thriller filmed and released within a year.

Opening here on Thursday, it is about the battle by newspapers to publish the leaked Pentagon Papers detailing the US government's misleading portrayal of the Vietnam War.

"I just felt that there was an urgency to reflect 1971 and 2017 because they were terrifyingly similar," the Oscar-winning director told a Hollywood audience after a screening of the film.


"Our intended audience are the people who have spent the last 13, 14 months thirsting and starving for the truth. They are out there, and they need some good news."

Starring Meryl Streep as the late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks as late editor Ben Bradlee, The Post was named Best Film by the National Board of Review but went home empty-handed after the recent Golden Globes despite scoring six nominations.

Spielberg, a prominent Hollywood Democrat, did not mention US President Donald Trump in his remarks.

But The Post - shot in June - arrived in North American movie theatres last month, at a time when the media has been under repeated attacks by Mr Trump since his election in November 2016.

Mr Trump has called the press "the enemy of the American people" and uses the term "fake news" to cast doubt on news reports critical of his administration, often without providing proof to support his case.

US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions said last August the Trump administration was considering requiring journalists to reveal their sources amid Mr Trump's push to stop leaks to the press.- REUTERS