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The Fog of War (Sous-titres français)

Robert McNamara , John F. Kennedy , Errol Morris    DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 70.15
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Obvious Oscar Winner March 8 2005
I thought Capturing the Friedman's should have won the Best Documentary Oscar until I saw Fog of War. If you are thinking about staying home this weekend and want to watch a film that gets you thinking, then Errol Morris' Fog of War is your best bet. Winner of the 2003 Academy Award for best Documentary Feature, Fog of War documents Robert McNamara, U.S. Secretary of State under Kennedy and Johnson, and his recollection of everything from his tenure as President of Ford Motors, to his involvement, as an advisor, in the foreign policy and subsequent standoff of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Fog of War uses archival and interview footage with McNamara to explain the eleven lessons he learned from his time working as Secretary of State. His political savvy is captured onscreen as he brings the viewers up to speed on some of the historical decisions he helped foster, the results to which saw him become the President of the World Bank.
Fog of War acts as a reminder of the importance of past political decisions in a more comprehensive and constructive way thank Michael Moore is capable of.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars valuable retrospective of the decisions of war July 16 2004
In his own words Robert Strange McNamara tells of his early life and his career, notably his service as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Through his narrative, viewers obtain a unique retrospective on critical international events, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the bombing of Japan and the Vietnam War.
McNamara sticks to the history. His personality is revealed by the way he speaks about events he found moving, but he dodges the tough personal questions, such as those about his family, his responsibility and his sense of guilt.
Clearly a reflective man, the lessons he provides are worthy of consideration by all, not just government leaders. In seeing some of the same mistakes made in current foreign relations as those McNamara recounts, viewers recognize the cycle of history, and human falliability.
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If ever there was a modern tragedy comparable to that of poor Macbeth, it is surely that of feckless, clueless Robert McNamara, the former Secretary of Defense under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, a man widely acknowledged to be the principal architect of the American strategy in Vietnam, the original author of policies such as body counts, a math whiz who saw the world in terms of sophisticated and elegant mathematical models. Unfortunately for McNamara and the 58,000 American boys who died in the rotting jungles of that fetid wasteland, the models failed in the real world of revolutionary zeal and little Asian guys in black pajamas, rubber flip-flops and with scruffy haircuts, who apparently never studied such methods in cutting-edge calculus and so were inexorably immune to such weighty prognostications.
It is bizarre, to say the least, then, to view this rambling monologue of twisting and winding excuses that the frail but still drop-dead intellectually gifted McNamara uses as he so frantically attempts to stamp his own brand of revisionist reinterpretations on the history of the Vietnam era and his own participation in it. Like the ghost of Iago, then, McNamara emerges from his own self-imposed splendid isolation of the last thirty years to set us all straight on what really happened back when bombs were flying and kids were dying. As the facts clearly show, he continued to support the prosecution of the war long after he knew it was a lost cause.
Certainly this is spellbinding stuff, yet anyone who is as well informed regarding the particulars McNamara slips through so effortlessly understands he is often playing fast and loose with the historical facts, and that he ignores many pieces of evidence which contradict his take on the way things unraveled.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lessons Learned July 11 2004
For his award-winning documentary, "The Fog of War" - a study of the moral complexities of war and those who wage it - Errol Morris has found the perfect subject in Robert S. McNamara, the man who served as Secretary of Defense in the early days of the Vietnam War. McNamara is astute, articulate, lively and thoughtful, and as a wizened man of 85, he is able to look back on the events of his life with the kind of analytical clarity and sober-minded judgment that only old age can provide.
Wisely, Morris allows McNamara to speak for himself, providing very little in the way of poking and prodding as interviewer and filmmaker. McNamara looks at his long and varied career through the prism of eleven lessons he's learned about life and human nature. Each of these revelations is tied into a specific chapter of that career and life. We see McNamara taking stock of his actions as they relate to World War II, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and most notably, of course, the Vietnam War, in each case ruminating aloud about the moral imperatives and ethical decisions he faced on a daily basis as his crucial role in all of these events played itself out. Some may find his comments to be a bit self-serving, an attempt to whitewash the facts and minimize his own responsibility, particularly as concerns his involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet, in many instances, McNamara accepts the judgments of history and admits his culpability, even if he generally does so in a broader war-is-a-necessary-evil context.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars History Lesson
Really enjoyed the old film footage and the frank answers McNamara gave to difficult questions. Well researched.
Published on Sept. 6 2010 by Brejean
5.0 out of 5 stars A Candid Admission of Inadequate Leadership
I found Errol Morris's documentary study of the life of Robert McNamara, former Defense Secretary in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations during the 60s to be both enlightening... Read more
Published on July 6 2009 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
4.0 out of 5 stars "I was part of a mechanism"
"The Fog of War" is an excellent documentary directed by Errol Morris, and based on several interviews that Morris made to Robert McNamara. Read more
Published on Jan. 8 2007 by M. B. Alcat
5.0 out of 5 stars Hindsight is better than no sight
This was an excellent, informative and well balanced inquiring into the mind of Robert S. McNamara.

There are many plusses to this documentary. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2006 by bernie
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating look into the mind of a maverick
i didn't know anything about robert mcnamara when i rented this video, but now I feel like I know enough to fake my way through a dinner party. Read more
Published on March 26 2005 by culture vulture
5.0 out of 5 stars finding excuses or scapegoats?
by watching this docu and the other one, lbj, borrowed from the public library, i've known that the two terms secretary of defense and the secretary of the state, dean rusk, were... Read more
Published on July 11 2004 by justareader
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spellbinding Account Of Vietnam In Retrospect
"Spellbinding" is the word that comes to mind when I think of director Errol Morris's "The Fog Of War. Read more
Published on July 10 2004 by Jana L. Perskie
3.0 out of 5 stars McNamara strugle with the morality of his War actions
The Fog of War is a movie about the wars in which Robert S. McNamara played a role. First as planner of the World War II and later as part of the JFK and Johnson administration. Read more
Published on July 9 2004 by Eduward du Bois
3.0 out of 5 stars coherence?
Lesson 2: Rationality will not save us.
Lesson 4: Maximize efficiency.
(Suggested) Lesson 12: BE COHERENT!!!
Published on July 7 2004
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