The story of America as seen through the eyes of Robert S. McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense. McNamara, one of the most controversial and influential figures in world politics, leads viewers on an insider's journey through many of the seminal events that shaped the 20th Century.
If there's one movie that ought to be studied by military and civilian leaders around the world at this treacherous historical moment, it is Errol Morris's sober, beautifully edited documentary portrait of the former U.S. Defense Secretary, Robert S. McNamara. Mr. McNamara, who was 85 when the interviews that make up the bulk of the film were conducted two years ago, served under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson in the 1960's and has been widely vilified as a major architect of the Vietnam war. Subtitled "Eleven Lessons of Robert S. McNamara," the movie organizes his hard-won observations into a list of maxims about war and human error whose cumulative message suggests that during wartime nobody really knows anything. The film, which has a solemn, anxious score by Philip Glass, incorporates White House tapes of conversations about Vietnam that Mr. McNamara had with both Presidents, along with vintage clips from World War II and Vietnam. — Stephen Holden
2003-10-11 | Stephen Holden | Read the New York Times Review of The Fog of War