Watch The Fog of War

Oscar-winner The Fog of War is a documentary that chronicles the life of America's most infamous Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamera. The film focuses on interviews and archival footage with McNamera while he attempts to reconcile his insights with the end of the 20th century. He discusses the various influences which must be taken into account when devising an international security plan. But he doesn’t stop there. McNamera gives us a glimpse into his early life as an academic prodigy, growing up in a humble American home. His efforts at UC Berkeley earned him a lucrative position in politics, where he would become one of the most infuential people in the world.

McNamera's genius seems to stem from an ability to dissect data and reformulate it into intelligence. His unique ability garners the attention of presidents from John F. Kennedy to Lyndon B. Johnson and various generals, who bestow him access to heaps of secret documents and employ his tactics to varying degrees.

McNamera started out strategizing for WWII, where he devised the plan to lower the B52 bombers, and unload fire bombs on Japan, essentially ending the war. He parlays that success into the Cuban Missile Crisis and eventually Vietnam, to which he was the war's chief architect - a position that still seems to haunt him. McNamera employs such controversial tactics as napalm and poison gases, all without a clear understanding of the terrain on which America fought, but more importantly the Vietnamese people. His underestimation of their will to preserve their nation would be the deciding factor, and McNamera's loss. McNamera, though aware of his shortcomings, is unable to express concern or remorse for the actions of his past. He seems perfectly content sitting behind the camera, clouded in a fog of mystery.

In the end, McNamera's insights open a new chapter in American international security and relations. He shows us the anatomy of foreign conflict and the lessons to be learned from these events.

| 2003 | 1 hr 35 min | 8.2/10 | 87/100
Robert McNamara
Sony Pictures Classics
Errol Morris

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The Fog of War (trailer)|1:59

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