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The Unknown Known (2013)

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Former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, discusses his career in Washington D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast overview:
... Himself
... Himself - Interviewer (voice)
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Storyline

Former United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, discusses his career in Washington D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Why is this man smiling? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some disturbing images and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

16 January 2014 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,315, 6 April 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$276,381, 29 June 2014
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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This same director also made Fog of War, a similar film that featured an extensive interview with Vietnam-era Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara. Both films were highly critical of their lead subjects management of war. See more »

Crazy Credits

Ivan & Boris See more »

Connections

Featured in De wereld draait door: Episode dated 7 April 2014 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

White Christmas
Written by Irving Berlin
Performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford
Courtesy of Capitol Records Nashville under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
The fog remains
17 April 2014 | by See all my reviews

Famously rigorous filmmaker Errol Morris sits a subject in front of him and the subject won't budge. This is, unfortunately, the takeaway from this documentary - a tremendous disappointment of a film in some way, but an extraordinary documentation of psychosis in another.

Rumsfeld apparently so annoyed Morris with his crafty replies that the director felt it necessary to follow up his film with a wild press tour apologizing for it - including a four part investigation into Rumsfeld's evasiveness in a New York times op-ed. In another article he called this film 'a horror movie'.

And it's understandable. Those who were against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be infuriated- it gives us no new answers as to the motives behind the wars, no candid insights into Rumsfeld's tenure, and instead presents us with the same smirking blur of a man that we all got to know from his press conferences. Without a glint of uncertainty in his eye, he repeats essentially the same shtick as he always has. Direct questions are deflected with a grin and a wave.

Indeed, nobody deserves to be investigated more than Rumsfeld or his former compatriots, and Morris would ordinarily be the man to do it. But for an encounter to take place between two people, both need to be there. In this case one was absent. Those expecting a one on one - a whittling away towards the real substance - will leave empty handed because Rumsfeld is a ghost. There ain't nothing there. We've all been punk'd.


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