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The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S McNamara

  • Documentary
  • 2003
  • Errol Morris
  • 102 mins
  • PG

Summary

Former US politician Robert McNamara looks back over his career, explaining why, after initially supporting the decision to go to war in Vietnam, he eventually chose to speak out against the conflict - a decision that cost him his position. Documentary by acclaimed film-maker Errol Morris.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

On this side of the Atlantic, Robert McNamara is a name vaguely associated with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, whom he served as Secretary of State for Defense. He remains a much more vivid figure in the US, where a generation quivered in the shadow of nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis and later protested when thousands were sent to die in Vietnam. Here, the 85-year-old reflects on a career of conflict - from his involvement in the firebombing of Japan during the Second World War to the Vietnam debacle. The film's title suggests that war is rarely a matter of black and white, and this is reinforced with some remarkable revelations and insights from McNamara. The overall impression - one that some may feel he has carefully constructed - is of a principled man who still believes that on the big issues he was right. Acclaimed film-maker Errol Morris (who won the year's best documentary Oscar for The Fog of War) provides McNamara with a platform and gently teases out some uncomfortable but unavoidably pertinent truths about the way war is waged.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

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Robert S McNamaraRobert S McNamara

Crew

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DirectorErrol Morris

Details

Theatrical distributor
Columbia TriStar
Released on
2004-04-02
Available on
DVD
Formats
Colour
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