Home / Documentary / Unknown Known

Unknown Known

Errol Morris mixes interviews with and archival footage and documents of Donald Rumsfeld to recount his many decades of service under 4 Republican administrations; the focus is on his recollection and interpretation of events happing around the Iraq war. It was interesting to think back to another Morris film – Fog of War – in which he interviewed Robert McNamara about the Vietnam war; McNamara was very thoughtfully reflective about mistakes made during those years.  Rumsfeld is a very different subject who doesn’t seem to have the capacity (or just isn’t interested in) critical reflection.  Rumsfeld spends the majority of the time rationalizing his own decisions, talking in circles and in ways that confuse rather than clarify (he spends a lot of time defining and deconstructing words that ultimately serves to duck the important questions; I still am confused by his explanation of “unknown known”).  Morris just lets Rumsfeld “run with it”, resulting in a very interesting (and sometimes rather irritating) documentary. Thumbs up from me;  I did not learn a lot new about Rumsfeld, but  I loved how Morris handled his subject – just let Rumsfeld reveal himself through what I found as his rather callous answers to questions about some of the most important questions about the Iraq war. Regardless of your political leanings, it is interesting to hear from him his philosophy of war. (2014; 3.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

Check Also

The Mole Agent

(Chile, English Subtitles). The subject of this documentary is Sergio, a widower of 83 years, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave the field below empty!

Skip to toolbar