The film is a summary of 33 hours of interviews that Morris conducted with Rumsfeld over eleven separate sessions during visits to Newton, Massachusetts.
It is dedicated to the memory of Roger Ebert.
Recent works by the secretary of defense.
The major portion of the film is spent addressing excerpts from the countless memos, nicknamed 'Yellow Perils' by his first Pentagon staff and 'Snowflakes' by the second, that Rumsfeld wrote during his time as a congressman and advisor to four different presidents, twice as United States Secretary of Defense. Department of Defense news briefing on February 12, about the lack of evidence linking the government of Iraq with the supply of weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups.
The content of the memos are varied, covering everything from the aftermath of Watergate , to the torture and abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib , to the definition of the word " terrorism ".
Morris returns to the motif of snowflakes swirling within a globe throughout the documentary as he discusses the memos with Rumsfeld, the contents of which the Defense Secretary allowed him limited access while preparing the film, and several of which Rumsfeld agrees to read aloud on camera.
At the beginning of the documentary, Rumsfeld argues that a major purpose of the Department of Defense is to evaluate "unknown knowns," or "the things you think you know, that it turns out you did not," to anticipate hostile actions before they take place. Illustrating his point, Rumsfeld suggests that the failure of the United States to anticipate the attack on Pearl Harbor was a failure of imagination.
As the interviews proceed, the director is able to catch his subject lying on camera, though when he does, Rumsfeld does not acknowledge it, with Morris finding the politician unwilling or unable to engage in self-reflection. When Rumsfeld replies that he never read them, Morris responds in disbelief, "Really? In the penultimate scene, Morris questions him again about "unknown knowns," and the definition given by Rumsfeld has inverted, a discongruence the director is quick to point out, and which Rumsfeld acknowledges: "unknown knowns" are "things that you know, that you don't know you know.
Rumsfeld responds, "That is a vicious question. I'll be darned if I know.
The website's critical consensus reads, "Viewers hoping to see Donald Rumsfeld admit making mistakes in public office may find The Unknown Known frustrating — but no less fascinating. You watch him obfuscate, fudge the issue of torture, smirk about George H. Rumsfeld, cool and bemused, refuses to knot the noose. Several reviews of the documentary compare it to Morris's Academy Award -winning predecessor, The Fog of War , with the follow-up being described as a "spiritual sequel".
The Unknown Known Official Trailer #1 (2014) - Donald Rumsfeld Documentary HD
Secretary of Defense , with Rumsfeld being the second. Both are film interviews of former Defense Secretary octogenarians who were dismissed prematurely from their posts, and who discuss their roles as the voice of some of the most unpopular wars in recent American history — for McNamara, Vietnam and for Rumsfeld, Iraq.
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What do you think about that? That man had nothing to apologize for. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the speech which inspired the title, see There are known knowns.
Theatrical release poster. Bush administration Gerald Ford George H.
Bush George W. Bush Guantanamo Bay detention camp Hamdan v. Box Office Mojo.
Retrieved August 28, The Unknown Known Motion picture. The Telegraph. Retrieved September 3, The Oregonion. The New York Times.
The Washington Post. The Los Angeles Times.
Retrieved September 4, Business Insider. Venice Biennale.
There are known knowns
Retrieved July 27, Retrieved July 31, The Guardian. July 25, Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 10, CBS Interactive.
The New Yorker. Star Tribune. Retrieved September 12, The New Republic. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Errol Morris.
The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld
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