The Known Unknown

Watch The Known Unknown

  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 31 min
  • 7.0  (4,272)
  • 69

The Known Unknown is a thought-provoking 2013 documentary film that offers a unique perspective on the life, work, and legacy of former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Directed by the renowned documentarian and filmmaker Errol Morris, the movie explores Rumsfeld's rise to power, his controversial policies during the Bush administration, and his views on America's role in the world.

Through a series of interviews with Rumsfeld and his colleagues, Morris tries to unravel the complexities of Rumsfeld's leadership style and decision-making process. The movie delves into some of the most significant events of the early 21st century, including the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the abuses at Abu Ghraib prison. The documentary offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a man who played a pivotal role in shaping American foreign policy during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history.

One of the most striking features of The Known Unknown is Morris's candid and unflinching approach to documenting Rumsfeld's life and work. The movie doesn't shy away from controversial issues or tough questions, and it provides a platform for both Rumsfeld's defenders and detractors to express their views. Morris's trademark minimalist style of storytelling, which he honed in movies such as The Thin Blue Line and The Fog of War, remains effective in The Known Unknown as well, allowing him to craft a compelling narrative out of a complex and challenging subject matter.

The Known Unknown is a movie that will likely appeal to people who are interested in politics, history, and the inner workings of government. But it is also a film that transcends these categories, offering insights into the human psyche and the nature of power that are relevant to all of us. Morris's use of archival footage and digital overlays creates a sense of depth and texture that enhances the movie's overall impact, and the interviews with Rumsfeld and his colleagues provide a rich source of material for anyone keen to explore the intricacies of modern politics.

What makes The Known Unknown stand out from other documentaries on politics and government is its ability to humanize Rumsfeld and to present him not as a caricature or a villain but as a complex, multifaceted person. Morris achieves this by adopting a non-judgmental stance towards his subject and by allowing Rumsfeld to speak for himself. In doing so, the movie provides a refreshing perspective on a figure who has been the subject of much controversy and media attention.

Overall, The Known Unknown is a compelling, thought-provoking documentary that offers unique insights into one of the most significant political figures of the past decade. Morris's talent as a filmmaker and his ability to craft a compelling narrative out of complex material are on full display, and the movie provides ample food for thought for anyone interested in politics, history, or the nature of power. Whether you are a Rumsfeld supporter or critic, The Known Unknown is a movie that is sure to captivate and stimulate you.

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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    31 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.0  (4,272)
  • Metascore