The Pentagon Papers


The Pentagon Papers (2003)
Director: Rod Holcomb
Actors: James Spader, Claire Forlani, Paul Giamatti
Runtime: 92 min

The protagonist of the movie is Daniel Ellsberg, a remarkable young analyst, who is the subject of the U.S. Cold War ideology of spreading liberal-democratic values and the threat of a communist ‘domino effect’. His greatest wish is to contribute to the victory of the USA and for that reason he starts working for the RAND Corporation. He moves on to working for the Pentagon, from where he returns to RAND and then goes to Vietnam to increase the accuracy of data received by analysts in USA. However, when he reaches the centre of events, the heart of ideology, he realizes that reports are extensively rigged, that no one knows what is really happening and that the policy pursued is completely false. His disappointment continues after returning home when his report is put in the bottom drawer. This disappointment is deepened when he comes into possession of a large internal military report on over 7000 pages which clearly shows the truth about the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. After he unsuccessfully approaches various liberal politicians offering the documents, he decides to make the information public and gives them to journalists…

The essence of U.S. foreign policy during the Cold War was to prevent the Communists from taking power in any country which hadn’t become Communist already, in fear that soon neighboring countries would also become communist – falling one after the other like dominoes. In the core of this policy was a strategy of creating a belt of anti-communist countries from the Mediterranean to the Far East. The aim was to prevent the spreading Soviet influence, especially access to the warm seas. If you understand this, it is easier to figure out the entire U.S. involvement in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Based on actual events.

You can download this film or watch it online.

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