Julie Wilson Ajlberg

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The Fog Of War: Eleven Lessons From The Life Of Robert S. McNamara Review


Excellent
Has documentary filmmaker Errol Morris met his match? Usually, this insightful director offers subjects who express their passionate commitment towards whatever they do (pet cemetery owners, Holocaust deniers) and get themselves caught in Morris's philosophical traps. His expression of an absurd worldview is directly paralleled by what his subjects have to offer. How odd, then, that Morris finds a slippery, often non-committal subject in Robert S. McNamara, a hard-edged intellectual and a politician. The Fog of War has a central figure who himself is shrouded in a fog of mystery -- and the "truth" becomes harder to decipher or even intuit.

McNamara presents a series of thoughts about modern society, particularly involving war. He offers 11 slogans of wisdom, each forming a separate chapter in Morris's documentary (i.e., "Empathize with your enemy" or "Never say never"). From these simple maxims, Morris weaves a tapestry that involved McNamara's terms as Secretary of Defense under Kennedy and Johnson, as a strategist during the firebombing of Japan during WWII (presented as a frightening assault that America has brushed under the "good war" carpet), and as one of the leading and perhaps guiltiest specters of the Vietnam War.

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Julie Wilson Ajlberg Movies

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

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

Has documentary filmmaker Errol Morris met his match? Usually, this insightful director offers subjects who...

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