The Fog Of War

The Fog Of War (USA, director Errol Morris): This was a very strong documentary focussing on the life of Robert McNamara, the Defence Secretary who served under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. McNamara, now 85 years of age, talks at length about his experiences and the lessons he has learned. His mind still razor-sharp, he admits that he made many mistakes in the “fog of war” and that he was responsible for many thousands of lives being lost. But he doesn’t really admit guilt. He talks about how he made the best decisions he could at the time, and how his advice often went unheeded. He and Johnson eventually disagreed so severely about policy on the Vietnam war that he either resigned or was fired. He says he can’t remember which it was, but that one of his friends always reminds him that of course, he was fired. I never got the feeling that he was trying to justify himself, and yet Morris is such a clever filmmaker that he leaves quite a bit of room to ask questions, even while painting a mostly sympathetic portrait of a very powerful man. A fascinating experience.


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