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Movie review - Essay Example

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The film revolves around the life of the former US Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. The design of the feature film focuses on the interviews of the former…
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Movie Review: Fog of war Fog of war, the academy award winner for the best documentary feature film in 2003 was directed by Errol Morris. The film revolves around the life of the former US Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. The design of the feature film focuses on the interviews of the former secretary where he illustrates the reasons, observations and nature of the modern warfare. The documentary discusses the power of McNamara in international politics and his influences in establishing the American history. McNamara is regarded as the architect of Vietnam War which caused mammoth number of deaths and he also played an important participatory role in the World War II. The archival footage and McNamara’s interview highlight the lessons learnt from the wars and provide insights into the international relations and security issues of America.
When we saw the movie, we draw some very sound conclusions regarding McNamara’s body language. We see a man admitting his sheer blunders regarding the important political decisions whose repercussions ranged from Vietnam to Japan, causing thousands of deaths and saved the world from annihilation of nuclear war by sheer luck not because of intelligence information. The people would definitely agree that the crimes he committed are completely unforgiving and unforgettable. His decisions regarding life and death are themselves a depiction of painful humility for him as depicted in the documentary. Although McNamara admits that he has been terribly wrong with reference to Vietnam War and could have done more to redirect the decision of president’s office, but he does not say sorry although Morris tried to prompt him. This shows his stubborn and pride in himself. On one side, he seems to be regretful but on the other side; he is justifying the decisions which caused mammoth human loss. The movie comes up with eleven lessons learnt from the life of McNamara. But the one lesson seems to be very inappropriate i.e. in order to do something good, you may have to engage in evil. This statement comes up as the justification from McNamara for his horrendous decisions in the cruise missile conflict, Vietnam and Japan wars but history vehemently reveals that nothing good came out after engaging in the evil in case of McNamara.
In the movie, many times it appears that Morris as director is trying to symbolize one life of McNamara to illustrate the other as an active and passive actor of the history where he has participated in the war as a witness and an actor too. Morris has tried to illustrate the overall psychology of McNamara by probing his conscious time after time and has tried to describe an overall guilt of the nation hidden under the cloak of innocence. The acceptance of McNamara that the human judgment can be mistaken shows an apologetic tone and a sense of pursuing a nation with bloody stains on American legacy.
Morris as a director has been very successful in highlighting the conscious of McNamara as a Secretary of Defense of the world super power. It describes that the political decisions are influenced by a humanly weaknesses but they can have a long term impact on the conscious of the whole nation.
Work cited:
Jonathan, Kim. Rethinking the fog of war: McNamara, the movie, the monster. The Huffington
Post. 8 July. 2009. 30 November. 2012.
Josh, Vasquez. The fog of war. Slant Magazine. 3 October. 2003. 30 November. 2012.
Roger, Ebert. The fog of war. Chicago Sun times. 23 January. 2004. 30 November. 2012.
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