Controversy has never scared off Errol Morris, and in fact, it has powered some of his best work. From the true crime tale “The Thin Blue Line,” powerful portraits of war in “The Fog of War” and “Standard Operating Procedure,” and more recently the JFK assassination (in the astounding short “The Umbrella Man“; watch it here) he has faced some tough material head on with tremendous insight. And his next effort promises nothing less.
Vulture reports that Morris and his Interrotron sat down last month with Donald Rumsfeld for a series of interviews covering his entire career. If somehow you have no idea who this guy this (and really, you should), he has impacted American politics in huge and very controversial ways. Most know him as the Secretary of Defense under George W. Bush who came up with the framework for “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Or as the guy who eluded questions about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq by saying, “there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know.”
But Rumsfeld has walked the halls of political power his entire life. He was a member of Nixon’s cabinet and an advisor, and in the Ford administration he worked on military matters, eventually earning the Presidential Medal Of Freedom. But there is perhaps no figure in post 9/11 politics more polarizing than Rumsfeld, having played a heavy hand in many decisions in the George H.W. Bush government, including bringing Americans into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. So needless to say, there is a lot to talk about.
This is some tremendously exciting news, and should prove to be utterly fascinating documentary. Not many other details are known such as a release date or who will distribute it (and probably too early to tell, as we presume Morris is still editing). Nor any word on how this will affect his brewing feature film “Freezing People Is Easy” (if at all). But this sounds great, so let’s hope he’s giving Philip Glass a call to do the score and we see this thing soon.