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(Updated April 20)



The Unknown Known

Why is this man smiling?

Errol Morris returns to The Fog Of War form in what could be seen as a complementary piece: a feature-length conversation with Donald Rumsfeld called, appropriately, The Unknown Known.

Poster art for The Unknown KnownDifferent from The Fog Of War and an apparently repentant Robert McNamara, The Unknown Known’s Rumsfeld comes off as not so much unrepentant as incapable of reasonable self-reflection. Morris, whose line of questioning ranges from WMD to the popular public misconception that Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib, allows Rumsfeld to clarify his non-equivocal equivocations. When Rumsfeld laughs, it’s frightening – an alien thing’s attempt to simulate a human emotion. Another highlight: a portion of the Nixon tapes where Tricky Dick reveals his mistrust of Rumsfeld to Haldeman.

The Unknown Known is as fine a film as Morris has made, all the more timely now that the United States – under new leadership, elected on a platform of hope and change – is on the eve of another act of war.

Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

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