This is a review of the Documentary "The Fog of War". It's from my blog page on christonium.


The entire film can be viewed by searching for "The Fog of War" on Google Video.





Cohesion : 9

Composition : 10

Contrast : 8

Dynamics : 9

Humor : 1

Intelligence : 7

Production : 9

Quality : 9



Cohesion : 9

"The Fog of War" is a seriously entertaining interview with former
Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. The documentary ties relevant historical footage with an introspective, and I think vindicating, account of McNamara's role in those crucial years during the build up of the cold war (hitting incidents from WWI to Vietnam). The editing of footage between McNamara's reflections and historical footage is breathtaking and perfectly in time with the cadence of McNamara's eloquent speech. The only annoying and inconsistent contribution to the film in these regards are director and interviewer Errol Morris' occasional outbursts, which only serve to distract McNamara and the audience.




Composition : 10

A documentary isn't composed in any way similar to a film or
television show. For one, there's no script. A documentary is composed after the questions are asked and footage collected. That the ultimate result of this process is a film like "The Fog of War" with its "Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara" is astounding. Breaking the film up into these lessons and narrating them using an impromptu interview by an aging McNamara came off as both enlightening and vastly enjoyable.




Contrast : 8

visually this documentary is incredible. It's not a tawdry
amalgamation of old tapes and interview intertwined. Archival footage and White House recordings are artfully woven into a well filmed and directed interview. Further contrast is provided by excellent application of an original score by Philip Glass which heightens dramatic appeal and adds to a long and very sophisticated story about the history of both McNamara's life and US foreign policy during the mid 20th century.




Dynamics : 9

Usually a documentary isn't thought of as a dramatic and important tale, but "The
Fog of War" is exactly that. The film moves from factual and informative to emotional and provoking at the drop of a hat. McNamara comes off as thoughtful and personally effected by the history of conflicts he's been involved with. In a word, this documentary is moving.



Humor : 1

There is nothing funny about this film and it probably should be taken seriously.




Intelligence : 7

"The Fog of War", at its core, is a history of US foreign policy
during the years McNamara held office as the Secretary of defense (1961 - 1968). It should also be pointed out that McNamara comes off as extremely intelligent. The film looses some points for not focusing on the debate that McNamara is criticized for humanizing himself in contrast to public opinion of the time and also of some historians. McNamara is often pictured as LBJ's bully in the White House who pushed for the Vietnam War. This documentary takes the exact opposite position and only provides a short clip at the beginning to provide this depth for the film.




Production : 9

This is probably one of the best produced documentaries around. It
has clear vision accompanied by excellent footage and lucid reflections on the subjects covered.




Quality : 9

I think it should be pretty clear at this point exactly how good this documentary is.

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