Posted on Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
The Fog of War, the Errol Morris-directed documentary featuring former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, is one of the most valuable works Morris has produced. While some might argue that McNamara’s history would have been better revealed through a set of forceful interviews rather than the Morris style of gentle prodding, the fact is that the film is a significant political and cultural document in which one of the prime architects of the Vietnam War reflects upon, and in some cases regrets his past.
Many comparisons have been made between McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld, who first became Secretary of Defense about a decade after McNamara left the office, and then was again posted to the position under President George W. Bush, in 2001. Rumsfeld was one of the chief faces in the response to the attacks of September 11, and his position on weapons of mass destruction in Iraq became a key point of argument amongst Bush’s detractors.
Rumsfeld achieved many other things over the course of his long career in both the public and private sectors. And evidently he recently sat for a series of interviews with Errol Morris, who plans to cut the footage into a new film that could well end up echoing The Fog of War.
Vulture reports that, while Morris did not respond to requests for verification, “a well-placed source” says that Morris interviewed Rumsfeld last month in conversations that covered 40 years of his life.
Ironically, Vulture notes that Rumsfeld’s own memos may have played a part in helping Morris shape the interviews and film — those memos are available in part because of the Freedom of Information Act. Rumsfeld helped craft that legislation. (Other memos were released by Rumsfeld himself.)
We have no details on what the film might be called, when it might see the light of day, or which company might be responsible. Sony Classics released both The Fog of War and Morris’ Abu Ghraib documentary Standard Operating Procedure, so SPC seems the most likely distributor if this film comes to pass.