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The Unknown Known

Where to Watch The Unknown Known


The Unknown Known is a fascinating documentary directed by Errol Morris that explores the life and career of former US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. Released in 2013, the film focuses on Rumsfeld's time in the Bush administration, particularly during the Iraq war and its aftermath.

The film opens with a shot of Rumsfeld sitting in his library, looking out the window. This sets the tone for the rest of the documentary, which is largely an intimate portrait of the man behind the controversy. Morris uses interviews with Rumsfeld, as well as archival footage and documents, to explore his beliefs, his strategies, and his legacy.

One of the main themes of the film is the idea of the "unknown known." This is a term that Rumsfeld famously used during a press conference in 2002 to describe the idea that there are things we know, things we don't know, and things we don't know we don't know. Morris uses this concept as a way to explore Rumsfeld's mindset and decision-making during his time in office.

Throughout the film, Rumsfeld comes across as a confident and intelligent man who is unapologetic about his decisions. He defends his actions during the Iraq war, including the use of controversial interrogation techniques and the decision to invade the country in the first place. He argues that these actions were necessary for national security and that hindsight is 20/20.

However, as the film progresses, it becomes clear that Rumsfeld's confidence may have been misplaced. Morris presents evidence that suggests that Rumsfeld was aware of the problems with the Iraq war from the beginning, but chose to ignore them or downplay their significance. For example, he was warned about the possibility of an insurgency in Iraq, but brushed off these concerns as "unhelpful."

The documentary also covers some of the other controversies surrounding Rumsfeld's career, including his role in the Abu Ghraib scandal and his handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Morris uses these events as a way to show how Rumsfeld's approach to leadership and decision-making may have contributed to these disasters.

One of the most compelling parts of the film is the way in which Morris uses archival footage to illustrate Rumsfeld's contradictions and evasions. For example, he shows footage of Rumsfeld denying that he ever said that there was "bulletproof" evidence linking Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, only to cut to a clip of Rumsfeld saying exactly that. This technique is used throughout the film to great effect, and it highlights the way in which Rumsfeld's words often did not match up with reality.

Overall, The Unknown Known is a thought-provoking and nuanced exploration of a controversial figure. Morris avoids easy characterizations of Rumsfeld, instead presenting him as a complex and multifaceted individual. The film raises important questions about leadership, accountability, and the role of government in shaping our world. It is a must-see for anyone interested in politics, history, or the human condition.

The Unknown Known is a Documentary, History movie released in 2014. It has a runtime of 105 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.0. It also holds a MetaScore of 69.

How to Watch The Unknown Known

Where can I stream The Unknown Known movie online? The Unknown Known is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Unknown Known for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Errol Morris
Also starring Donald Rumsfeld
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