Former US Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara relates his experineces as an Air Force officer during the Second World War and the role played by the death of JFK in driving the US to war.

5
An intellectual documentary for today's world.

Winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary only a few weeks ago was Errol Morris' The Fog of War. It was a timely acknowledgment of the great skills of Morris who'd previously brought us the astounding The Thin Blue Line, A Brief History of Time, Fast Cheap and Out of Control and Mr. Death, The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. Basically The Fog of War is an interview with Robert Strange McNamara who became Secretary of Defence for John F. Kennedy after being the first President of the Ford Motor Company who was not a member of the Ford family. Heady times and a fascinating life, here is a man at the cusp of history.

McNamara was one of the bright young men of the 1930's, university trained, he went on to soar in private enterprise. He served in the Second World War, witnessing the bombing of Japan, led by General Le May, which he describes in this film as a 'war crime', Under Kennedy, he oversaw the Cuban crisis and was a key advisor to both Kennedy and Johnson on Vietnam.

McNamara is revealed as just a human being. Willing to lend his formidable insight into events he had no responsibility for, ducking and weaving on the ones he was responsible for, an incisive thinker, an impressive brain, McNamara is a man who, at the age of 85 can look back and weep at those events that affected his personal life.

Errol Morris displays expert intellectual and visual skill in bringing us the 11 lessons of McNamara's insight into history as they affect us today. The documentary is about the pragmatism, the confusion, the sheer randomness and human fallibility of any conflict. It surely is a documentary for today's world.