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The Unknown Known 2014

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.

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1 hour, 38 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Errol Morris
Studio Dogwoof
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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A MUST see ! It subtly exposes this vain, ruthless, dishonest man who for many years headed up the USA's war machine. One cannot help but come to the conclusion that there are many more with the same dangerous characteristics in every USA Administration.
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absolutely fascinating, bizarrely compelling. The extras with interviews and QandA with Erroll Morris are well worth watching too..
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I bought this as a consequence of being so impressed by "The fog of War" video. I was not disappointed. This has to be a five star as few documentaries give a real insight into how those at the top think. For those who are interested in how the worlds leaders make decisions first hand, rather than through the tittle-tattle of the media, this is essential viewing.
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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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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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Excellent DVD, especially in combination with Errol Morris' other DVD: "Fog of War" (an interview with U.S. SecDef during the Cuba Crisis and Vietnam, Mr. Robert McNamara)
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Interesting but just skims over the key questions any properly researched interviewer would ask. Key amongst those would be the crossover between his political and business affairs. I assume there was very strict screening and vetoing of any questions to allow the interviews to go ahead, and this leaves the resulting film as an obituary rather than a critical analysis of one of the top power-possessing individuals of the last 50 years.
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