The Unknown Known, Errol Morris 2013
By Ali Tenenbaum
There’s no question Errol Morris is a master. Vernon, Florida, Thin Blue Line, Fog Of War etc. etc. etc.The Unknown Known is no different. This doc spans the career of Donald Rumsfeld starting in Washington D.C. in the 1960’s up through the early 2000’s. Love him or hate him, Rumsfeld speaks to you in those dark surroundings that is the Morris style and nuance, it’s that combination that makes you feel like you are in a room alone with the old war horse. You might be thinking to yourself, do I really want that?!? Trust me, you do if Errol Morris is there to film it. No secrets are revealed, no tears are shed but it’s a very intimate portrait of a man who is clearly a misguided liar but who also believes every single word he is saying. The dude talks freely around the weapons of mass destruction debacle, among many others, during his time in the White House under W. It’s jaw dropping to watch him twist words so comfortably.
I keep thinking to myself, would he have agreed to do the documentary if he thought he was going to appear to be lying through those grinning white teeth? I think not and this speaks to the fool that Rumsfeld is AND the skill of Errol Morris. Grandma will appreciate it. Forget the kid.
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