Directed by James Vanderbilt (writer of The Amazing Spiderman, Zodiac), Truth tells the story of the controversy surrounding the CBS 60 Minutes Wednesday report on George W. Bush’s military record.
Leading up to the presidential election campaign in 2004, Cate Blanchett as Mary Mapes leads an investigation into allegations of preferential treatment given to George W. Bush by the Texas Air Guard as well as reports that he did not meet minimal training or attendance while in service in the 1970s.
The news report was based on the Killian documents, a set of six documents which reportedly detailed gaps in service. They also containted internal memo’s which inferred that those in command instructed that the records for George W. Bush should be completed despite him not meeting minimal requirements. A team of experts were drafted in to verify the accuracy of the documents and various military personnel at the time stood by the content of them.
With the backing of CBS at the time Mapes and her core team Colonel Roger Charles (Dennis Quaid), Lucy Scott (Elisabeth Moss) and Mike Smith (Topher Grace) believed they had a solid story to tell. The story would be aired on 60 Minutes Wednesday presented by Dan Rather (Robert Redford).
After it aired reports began to circulate about the authenticity of the documents. Online forums, bloggers and other news stations began to target and question the work Mapes and her team had presented. The focus of the story drifted entirely from George W. Bush and more towards whether the documents were accurately verified by the 60 Minutes team. With mounting pressure on the network an internal investigation was carried out by CBS. The conclusion of which led to Mapes being terminated from CBS and Dan Rather leaving the network after 43 years of service.
If you liked Spotlight (which won best movie Oscar) then chances are you are going to like this. The movie is based on a memoir by Mary Mape’s entitled Truth and Duty: The Press, the President and the Privilege of Power. Its a gripping story with a cast of actors giving strong performances. It may very well leave you questioning what you see in the news from here on in, but in a world of quick fire information and reactions that is not necessarily a bad thing. I’m giving it 4 out of 5. Truth is in cinemas now. Check out the trailer below.