The Unknown Known 2014

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In The Unknown Known, Errol Morris offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, an extraordinary American politician and one of the architects of the Iraq War.

Runtime:
1 hour 38 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices

The Unknown Known

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Errol Morris
Studio Dogwoof
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 April 2014
Format: DVD
"The Unknown Known" (2013 release; 103 min.) is the latest documentary from Errol "The Fog of War" Morris, this time interviewing former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. The title of the documentary reflects on one of the thousands of memos (so-called "snowflakes") that Rumsfeld issued during his tenure: "What You Know", the "unkown known" being "things you think you know but it turns out you didn't know". Translated: the epic failure of Iraq post-invasion, when it became clear that the Pentagon didn't have a game plan on how to deal with things after Sadam Hussein was overthrown. The documentary goes back or Rumsfeld's early days, back to the 60s when he was elected to Congress before taking various administration positions with Presidents Ford and Reagan, thankfully including some great archive shots and photos. But the focus of this documentary is clearly the 2003-2004 era of the Iraq invasion.

Couple of comments: Rumsfeld always has been someone who loves the camera and the spotlight, and easily providing memorable quotes or answers, and this documentary is more proof of that. Morris: "How did you propose to your wife?" Rumsfeld: "Imperfectly", ha! Morris: "Isn't it amazing how they were able to pull off 9-11?" Rumsfeld: "Everything seems amazing in retrospect". When the photo scandal in the Abu Dabi prison broke, Rumsfeld offered to resign, but President Bush refused, to Rumsfeld's regret. Yet despite all that, when you see him contradicting himself about whether or not Hussein has weapons of mass destruction, you just shake your head in disgust. The documentary ends with Morris asking Rumsfeld: "Why are you talking to me?". What does Rumsfeld respond? Just watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nobody's friend on 5 Sep 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
absolutely fascinating, bizarrely compelling. The extras with interviews and QandA with Erroll Morris are well worth watching too..
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Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Fascinating insight into his mind but left me wondering how he was able to justify his role in government so glibly. Worth watching to gain some enlightenment on the situation we now find ourselves in.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By SEWyvern on 13 Jun 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film maker has said that Rumsfeld was unfailingly gracious during the filming but that he is not a great Rumsfeld fan. However, the great success of this film is that it exposes both the failings and the triumphs of Rumsfeld as a man and a politician. If you have a deep seated bias against Rumsfeld as the evil architect of the Iraq war there will be parts of this film that reinforce your convictions, but if you see Rumsfeld as one of a handful of men trying to deal with the aftermath of the catastrophic disaster of 9/11 this film also highlights Rumsfeld's positive qualities as a man and politician.

To many people if someone is responsible for something they don't like that makes them an evil or stupid person and a lot of people have vilified Rumsfeld over the Iraq war and mocked the Unknown Known comment he made which gives this film its very apt title - we think we know Rumsfeld but this film reveals a lot of unknowns about the man - at least to me. Put any biases aside and what emerges is a picture of a warm, brilliant and articulate man. Irrespective of whether you agree or disagree with Rumsfeld and his politics when you compare him with current politicians on both sides of the Atlantic most of them would be found wanting. There are a number of 'What If' moments in the film and one of the most fascinating is the fact that Rumsfeld was in the running to be Ronald Reagan's running mate. It's interesting to to speculate what might have happened if he had been chosen. If Rumsfeld had succeeded Reagan instead of Bush would he have been more inclined to take out Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf War? Whilst Saddam was not responsible for 9/11 would eliminating him in the 90's have indirectly prevented 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003?
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By melbopp on 17 Aug 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
v good
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