The Unknown Known

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In The Unknown Known, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense. These memos provide a window onto history—not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes” – whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history – are contradicted by the facts. Filmed using Morris’ patented “Interrotron” – his notorious device for filming interview subjects as they gaze directly into the camera – The Unknown Known is an artful illumination of the mystery of Donald Rumsfeld, an unknown known. (Dir. by Errol Morris, 2013, USA, 96 mins., Rated PG-13, RADiUS-TWC) Digital