Welcome to the Watergate cinematic universe

Last June 17th marked the 50th anniversary of the arrest of five men for the raid on the offices of the Democratic Party in the Watergate complex in Washington. One of the most important references not only in modern American history but an event whose relevance has permeated global popular culture to the point of being common practice, and understood by the general public, to add the suffix gate to any new modern political scandal since then.

Which gives us the perfect excuse to spend the next few days exploring the Watergate cinematic universe or the way in which film and television have portrayed this interesting and complex piece of history where politics, journalism and much more intersect. Here’s a small selection of movies and series that can keep you entertained and interested in different perspectives and parts of this historic moment for America.

Of course we must start with All the President’s Menthe film starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in which we delve into the complex investigative process of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in the Washington Post that would become the central story that would unleash a series of events that would lead to Richard Nixon’s resignation from the presidency of the United States in the early 1970s.

One of the most compelling characters in this royal investigation is Deep Throat, the FBI informant who allowed Wioodward and Bernstein to reveal the Watergate scandal. In Mark Felt: the man who brought down the White HouseLiam Neeson is in charge of giving life precisely to deep throat and thus we know a little more about his past, his context and the situation he had to face.

Let us remember that within everything it is about approximations and interpretations from the art and the cinema of historical events and they are not at all perfect exclusively factual portraits of the events.

Recently the Starzplay platform premiered the series Gaslit, starring Julia Roberts and Sean Penn. In this, Julia Roberts plays Martha Mitchell, the wife of then United States Attorney General John Mitchell, and a key figure also in what happened around the Watergate phenomenon. Netflix, for her part, has just released an attractive documentary about Martha Mitchell, for those who want to know more about her and see again from another perspective the influence she had on this important case.

One of the most interesting stories that occurred after Watergate is what we can also see in the movie Frost/Nixon, based on the play of the same name, written by Peter Morgan. The film directed by Ron Howard and starring Michael Sheen and Frank L’Angella, who also played Frost and Nixon respectively in the stage play, approaches one of the most relevant and important media and interview pieces of the last century as those interviews were.

To close, I have always believed that The Postthe Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, is a great prequel to All the President’s Men. A previous look that allows us to see a broader picture of the relationship between this newspaper and the power and the editorial and journalistic evolution that the newspaper had during those years. Washington Post, a newspaper that in a few years would decisively confront power and both films show this. In fact, the end of The Post makes a very clear nod to what would come with the Watergate scandal.

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