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Filmmaker Errol Morris sets his camera on Donald Rumsfeld in his new documentary “The Unknown Known.” Errol Morris joins us.
Donald Rumsfeld stood in the center of turmoil in George W. Bush’s White House, as Secretary of Defense when the Pentagon was hit on 9/11, and through the two wars that followed. Now one of America’s greatest film-makers, Errol Morris, has turned his camera on Rumsfeld – as he did years earlier on Vietnam-era Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The result is “The Unknown Known,” a documentary that looks “from the inside out,” as Errol Morris puts it, on the mistakes and misjudgments that made the Iraq War the most polarizing in American history. This hour On Point: Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld.
Errol Morris, Academy-award winning documentary filmmaker. His newest film is "The Unknown Known: The Life And Times of Donald Rumsfeld." His other films include "The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara," "The Thin Blue Line," "Standard Operating Procedures" and "Tabloid." (@errolmorris)
New York Times: The Certainty of Donald Rumsfeld — "Many people associate the phrases the known known, the known unknown and the unknown unknown with Rumsfeld, but few people are aware of how he first presented these ideas to the public. It was at a Pentagon news conference on Feb. 12, 2002.'"
Boston Globe: ‘The Unknown Known’: Catch Donald Rumsfeld if you can --"Unlike McNamara, Rumsfeld is actorly: not just at ease in front of a camera but utterly at home there. His Pentagon press conferences were star turns; and like any great performer, Rumsfeld is self-aware without ever being self-conscious. McNamara clearly thought of himself as the opposite of naive, yet he was the essence of it."
Washington Post: Errol Morris talks — and talks — about his Rumsfeld documentary, ‘The Unknown Known’ — "It’s true that, for partisans who can never forgive Rumsfeld his part in the run-up and execution of the Iraq War, 'The Unknown Known' can be a maddening experience: Although Morris occasionally confronts his subject about contradictions or outright misstatements, he just as often lets Rumsfeld have his say, unchallenged. 'I think the entire movie is a confrontation,' Morris insisted. 'Many, many, many successive confrontations.'"
This program aired on April 7, 2014.