Errol Morris to release Donald Rumsfeld doc this year


Errol Morris conducted a number of interviews with former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, which he hopes to release as a film some time this year. No title or studio has been announced yet, but I’m eager to see the results of Morris’s enhanced Interrotron-igation.

This documentary will probably be different from The Fog of War, Morris’s brilliant 2003 film about Robert McNamara, the architect of the Vietnam War who served as Secretary of Defense under JFK and LBJ. In that doc, McNamara seemed introspective and even troubled when he spoke about Vietnam. There’s enough historical distance from that war to give us a broader perspective of what happened and to deepen our regret when we think about what the country should have done differently.

With Rumsfeld, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are still fresh memories. And on top of that, Rumsfeld isn’t likely to dim the legacy of a recent administration or call recent/ongoing military operations into question.

But regardless, people will compare the two, and it’s pretty much unavoidable. Maybe the films will be more like companion pieces — they might show how time/distance colors our view of history. Morris could even call the film Known Unknowns or Unknown Unknowns, both Rumsfeld’s coinage. Those phrases have an echo to them that recall the idea of the fog of war (uncertainty during war time), and yet like the phrase “enhanced interrogation techniques,” they have the distinctly inoffensive, unpoetic sound of modern business-ese.

[Via Vulture]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.