IDFA - The Fog of War
Errol Morris / US, 2003 / 95 min.
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara (1916-2009) is regarded as the architect of the disastrous Vietnam War. In his book In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam, McNamara offers 11 lessons that form the framework for a conversation in which he speaks candidly about his experiences as a student, the director of Ford Motor Company and a statesman.
The interview with McNamara himself is interspersed with archive footage and audio recordings of conversations with John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. This Oscar-winning documentary offers an engrossing perspective on the dark machinations of 1960s American politics.
McNamara places great emphasis on the importance of perception. How many soldiers should be allowed to die in the battle for a secure world? How can war be prevented? How do you define war crimes? He believed that a good leader should see war as a machine, one from which all emotion has been eradicated. Only in this way is it possible to avoid making major errors of judgment in the heat of battle.