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Errol Morris is a filmmaker unstoppably drawn to controversial subject matter, be it capital punishment or Holocaust deniers, so his latest focus should be little surprise to his admirers. According to Vulture, the heralded documentarian has been sitting down for a series of in-depth interviews with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who memorably resigned in 2006 after being accused of woeful mismanagement of President George W. Bush's Iraq War. The in-development documentary will cover the length of Rumsfeld's political career, which spanned 40 years, and could well serve as a companion piece to Morris' Academy Award-winning doc, The Fog of War, where he profiled another former U.S. Secretary of Defense—in that case Robert S. McNamara—as a means to explore the Vietnam War. Meaning, it's possible Morris's upcoming feature will investigate the War on Terror.
Morris is not responding to inquiries about his Rumsfeld doc at this time, but with such extensive access to Rumsfeld, discussing his progression from the Navy to Congress to the Oval Office as a counselor and later Secretary of Defense under Bush and Gerald Ford, the uncanny interviewer seems sure to unearth some startling revelations. As one studio chief admitted, "Errol has the magic of getting people to talk about everything, and they’ll sit until things go wrong.”
By "wrong," it seems this speaker means those moments when the interview subject gives away more than they ever intended, which is part of what makes Morris's films so extraordinary, those moments when the interviewee forgets they are in front of a camera and admits something shockingly honest. Yet Rumsfeld may well be looking to set the record straight. After a career that held a lot of highs he walked out on a disgraced note. He has since written a memoir with a title referring to one of his most oft quoted comments on the Iraq War, Known and Unknown. But with Morris, he has a chance to speak to those who wouldn't dare be seen with a book by the man Nixon described as, “a ruthless little bastard.” Ultimately, no matter what side of the aisle you favor, it seems certain that Morris and Rumsfeld's conversations could prove eye opening.
At this point, the title of Morris's doc is unknown, as is a possible release date.