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VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2013 - The Unknown Known, by Errol Morris - First look review

VENICE FILM FESTIVAL 2013 - The Unknown Known, by Errol Morris - First look review

Simone Spoladori (September 5, 2013)

Morris tries to reconstruct the personality of Donald Rumsfeld and to nail him to his responsability for the Iraq invasion, but the success of the operation is only 50%.


Don Rumsfeld is a piece of American politics history, one of the best known names in the Republican Party. His career began in the sixties and ened in 2006, when Rumsfeld resigned as secretary of defense after the fail of the war in Iraq.

The title of this new documentary by the great Errol Morris is just one of the smoky and Machiavellian discourses with which Rumsfeld tried to " stun" the public opinion on the invasion of Iraq and the supposed possession by the regime of Saddam Hussein of weapons of mass destruction, then proved a colossal hoax. From this "mistake," Morris tries on  one hand to reconstruct the complex personality of this unscrupulous politician, and on the  other to nail him to his responsability for the invention of this pretext and about the tortures at Guantanamo. The success of the operation is only 50%. On one hand the portrait is effective, deep, sharp, on the other  it  is on issues closely related to his responsibilities, Rumsfeld wins on all fronts, as a dialectic consumed master, escaping in various and pyrotechnic ways  the applications of Morris, denying the obvious, winking, acting. And in the end, unfortunately for Morris's documentary he wins. Despite Elfman's music, with the usual atmosphere of amazement, here, in the statements of Morris, there is very little amazing. The old Don confesses that his view of things about Iraq came from a reflection: in the past, at Pearl Harbor or on September 11, the States in his opinion  lacked of imagination, not coming to assume such extreme acts by the "enemy". What Morris isn't able to pull out from Rumsfeld about Iraq is that in that case US  had far too much imagination.

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