- Actores: Robert McNamara
- Directores: Errol Morris
- Escritores: No Writer Credited
- Productores: Errol Morris, Robert Fernandez, Michael Williams
- Formato: Importación
- Audio: Inglés
- Subtítulos: Árabe, Checo, Danés, Holandés, Inglés, Finlandés, Francés, Griego, Hindi, Húngaro, Noruego, Polaco, Portugués, Español, Sueco, Turco
- Subtítulos para sordos: Inglés
- Región: Región 2 (Más información sobre Formatos de DVD.)
- Relación de aspecto: 1.78:1
- Número de discos: 1
- Calificación española (ICAA): Apta para todos los públicos
- Estudio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
- Duración: 103 minutos
- Valoración media de los clientes: 4.5 de un máximo de 5 estrellas Ver todas las opiniones (2 opiniones de clientes)
- ASIN: B0002849HA
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº28.727 en Cine y Series TV (Ver el Top 100 en Cine y Series TV)
The Fog Of War [Reino Unido] [DVD]
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Academy Award(r)-winner for Best Documentary Feature, THE FOG OF WAR is the story of America as seen through the eyes of the former Secretary of Defense, under President Kennedy and President Johnson, Robert S. McNamara. McNamara was one of the most controversial and influential political figures ofthe 20th century. Now - for the first time ever - he sits down one on one with award-winning director Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line) to offer a candid and intimate journey through some of the mostseminal events in contemporary American history. As leader of the world's most powerful military force during this nation's most volatile period in recent years, McNamara offers new and often surprising insights into the 1945 bombing of Tokyo, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the effects of the Vietnam War. Featuring newly released Oval Office recorded conversations with Presidents John F. Kennedyand Lyndon B. Johnson, THE FOG OF WAR received critical acclaim for its up-close and personal insider
Aus den Augen von Robert S. McNamara, einer der kontroversesten Figuren der Weltpolitik wird die Geschichte des 20. Jahrhunderts betrachtet: Aus bescheidenen Verhältnissen der Depressions-Ära in kürzester Zeit zu John F. Kennedys Verteidigungssekretär aufgestiegen, wurde McNamara während seiner siebenjährigen Amtszeit unter anderem für den Vietnamkrieg mit verantwortlich gemacht.
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Born 85 years ago, McNamara is the quintessential man of his time, what Brokaw called the greatest generation, a sobriquet this documentary underscores. In McNamara's words he deplored the sorrow and pity of the four great wars of his lifetime; the trenches in France; the nuclear and indiscriminate firebombing of innocent Japanese; the debacle in Korea; the flaming jungles of Vietnam. His command of statistics is breathtaking. But it is the eyes that reveal an inner truth, the precise opposite of his concise, rational words - his 11 "lessons". We see a man who never found himself in harm's way. We see eyes so ironically blinded by a circa 1918 vision of duty and honor that, though he loathed the horrifics of Vietnam, he was compelled to allow his true judgment to go unexpressed until nearly 60,000 Americans were dead. He was at once perhaps the most powerful man in the world and its most despicable. It is easy to see why a brilliant young President Kennedy would choose someone as Defense Secretary who seemed so like himself, but tragically without the courage. And why, with Kennedy's death, McNamara by sheer ambition and brilliance would ascend to the very pinnacle of power.
Yet, I couldn't hate this guy. Perhaps the most telling moment is McNamara's clear devastation at Kennedy's assassination 41 years ago, again told in his eyes and a rare, emotional choking voice. So it's difficult to blame him for all those deaths he might have prevented -- McNamara genuinely believed he was doing the right thing for his Presidents: through an obsessive sense of duty and loyalty. Now that his day of legacy approaches, he expresses criticism over the actions of others -- General LeMay and President Johnson are the favored targets. But McNamara cannot quite bring himself to admit his own mistakes of enormous proportions. Yet it's quite clear that he was one of only two men who could have ended the 7-year slaughter (of his term in office). Many may find that failure a reason to despise the man. I found it just human.
This film offers up no easy answers (certainly not his 11 "lessons'), but more importantly raises many fundamental questions. Philip Glass' elegiac, edgy scoring perfectly meshes with this thriller. An impressive and important contribution to understanding our nation's ambivalent past.
He is trying to be honest, but does not promise to be self-revelatory. Others here speculate that it is his shot at redemption. If you know his work at Ford, you know that he's not really a redemption kind of guy. Rather, he's more a scientist or engineer. He want's to contribute to a growing body of knowledge. He's [obviously] not afraid to make mistakes, so long as they are cataloged and recorded.
So long as we all learn from them.
That's why he made this film. There are moments of emotion - for example, when he talks about John Kennedy's death. But it's not a confessional. He says more than once, "I'm not going to go into this," because it relates to private matters.
Watch his eyes. Watch how hard it is for him to do what he feels so strongly compelled to do: somehow add meaning to his experiences by teaching us. The pain his eyes express sometimes is at once awful and compelling.
I don't think he made this movie to earn absolution. He's the kind of guy who would claim absolution as a matter of right.
No, he wants us to learn, and to enable that by as much lucidity and honesty as he can muster. Most leaders don't care enough about us to take this effort.
As much as a reasonable person could hate McNamara, I thank him for trying to teach us. It's like hearing someone already in hell trying to offer a word of warning.
As the U.S. military goes through the motions of "transformation" while beset by the intense demands of being engaged in a 100-year war on six-fronts around the world, all of them against asymmetric threats that we do not understand and are not trained, equipped, nor organized to deal with, this film is startlingly relevant and cautionary.
LESSON 1: EMPHATHIZE WITH YOUR ENEMY. We must see ourselves as they see us, we must see their circumstances as they see them, before we can be effective.
LESSON 2: RATIONALITY WILL NOT SAVE US. Human fallibility combined with weapons of mass destruction will destroy nations. Castro has 162 nuclear warheads already on the island, and was willing to accept annihilation of Cuba as the cost of upholding his independence and honor.
LESSON 3: THERE'S SOMETHING BEYOND ONESELF. History, philosophy, values, responsibility--think beyond your niche.
LESSON 4: MAXIMIZE EFFICIENCY. Although this was McNamara's hallmark, and the fog of war demands redundancy, he has a point: we are not maximizing how we spend $500B a year toward world peace, and are instead spending it toward the enrichment of select corporations, building things that don't work in the real world.
LESSON 5: PROPORTIONALITY SHOULD BE A GUIDELINE IN WAR. McNamara is clearly still grieving over the fact that we firebombed 67 Japanese cities before we ever considered using the atomic bomb, destroying 50% to 90% of those cities.
LESSON 6: GET THE DATA. It is truly appalling to realize that the U.S. Government is operating on 2% of the relevant information, in part because it relies heavily on foreign allies for what they want to tell us, in part because the U.S. Government has turned its back on open sources of information. Marc Sageman, in "Understanding Networks of Terror", knows more about terrorism today than do the CIA or FBI, because he went after the open source data and found the patterns. There is a quote from a Senator in the 1960's that is also compelling, talking about "an instability of ideas" that are not understood, leading to erroneous decisions in Washington. For want of action, we forsook thought.
LESSON 7: BELIEF & SEEING ARE BOTH OFTEN WRONG. With specific reference to the Gulf of Tonkin, as well as the failure of America to understand that the Vietnamese were fighting for independence from China, not just the French or the corrupt Catholic regime of Ngo Dinh Diem, McNamara blows a big whole in the way the neo-cons "believed" themselves into the Iraq war, and took America's blood, treasure, and spirit with them.
LESSON 8: BE PREPARED TO RE-EXAMINE YOUR REASONING. McNamara is blunt here: if your allies are not willing to go along with you, consider the possibility that your reasoning is flawed.
LESSON 9: IN ORDER TO DO GOOD, YOU MAY HAVE TO ENGAGE IN EVIL. Having said that, he recommends that we try to maximize ethics and minimize evil. He is specifically concerned with what constitutes a war crime under changing circumstances.
LESSON 10: NEVER SAY NEVER. Reality and the future are not predictable. There are no absolutes. We should spend more time thinking back over what might have been, be more flexible about taking alternative courses of action in the future.
LESSON 11: YOU CAN'T CHANGE HUMAN NATURE. There will always be war, and disaster. We can try to understand it, and deal with it, while seeking to calm our own human nature that wants to strike back in ways that are counter-productive.
For those who dismiss this movie because McNamara does not apologize, I say "pay attention." The entire movie is an apology, both direct from McNamara, and indirect in the manner that the producer and director have peeled away his outer defenses and shown his remorse at key points in the film. I strongly recommend the book by McNamara and James Blight, "WILSON's GHOST." In my humble opinion, in the context of the 470+ non-fiction books I have reviewed here, McNamara and Bill Colby are the two Viet-Nam era officials that have grown the most since leaving office. He has acquired wisdom since leaving defense, and we ignore this wisdom at our peril.
With that "public pitfall" in mind, McNamara's explanations and answers to Morris' questions can appear scheming and duplicitous, but those answers simply place decisions and policy in their proper historical framework. At one point in the film, Morris' essentially asks McNamara who was responsible for Vietnam decisions and McNamara quickly replies, "The President". The audience (or at least, I) wanted McNamara to answer, "It was my decision" and - as such - may view the President Response as a cop-out. However, McNamara is absolutely correct; the decision for action rested with the Commander-in-Chief and his name was never Robert Strange McNamara. From the audience's perspective, it is nothing short of compelling to watch a man justify unpopular actions while dodging an undue burden of responsibility and respecting (i.e., not damning) the two presidents he served and loved.
Personally, I relished the personal insights Morris captured (or that McNamara permitted himself to show?). These poignant glimpses ranged from McNamara's tearful story of surveying Arlington National Cemetery for Kennedy's eventual burial plot to the fleeting family health references confronting the McNamara Family during the Secretary of Defense years. My favorite insight into McNamara's soul comes during the retelling of the young Quaker who set himself on fire below McNamara's office mere moments after handing his baby daughter to a pleading bystander. While the story is well known, McNamara pays respect to the widow's subsequent explanation and appears to have kept tabs on the daughter. I am still not sure what to make of that insight and dozens of others, but those personal glimpses are the underlying force of the film.
In terms of filmmaking, some reviews have blasted Morris' technique of being off camera and unmiked, his use of the Glass soundtrack, or his reliance on public domain stock footage of planes, bombing, or protests. In many respects, they are right: either you love Morris' methods or they will grate on you. The editing cuts can be choppy, but it is unclear how much of that is for dramatic effect or if the original interviews went back and forth over the same material. If you enjoy a bombastic Michael Moore-type figure guiding the audience through a series of contrived events peppered with sarcastic and puerile rhetoric, then "The Fog of War" may not be the documentary for you and worth a local rental. On the other hand, if you enjoyed Morris' earlier "The Thin Blue Line" or Barbara Kopple's "Harlan County, USA" and "American Dream", then you will want to buy this DVD for the theatrical release, deleted scenes, and McNamara's own rules.