LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is to be the subject of what producers on Monday called a “provocative” documentary directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Errol Morris, producers said on Monday.
Morris has teamed with the media company behind global warming film “An Inconvenient Truth” for the film, called “The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld,” to be released in 2013.
The documentary will be drawn from filmed interviews Morris conducted with Rumsfeld as well as never-before-seen material from Rumsfeld’s private archive, the executive producers said.
Tom Quinn and Jason Janego, co-presidents of the film’s distributors RADiUS-TWC, said in a statement the documentary would give a “rare and provocative look into one of the world’s most polarizing and charismatic political figures.”
Rumsfeld, 80, was in charge of the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq and he also served as Defense Secretary under President Gerald Ford in the 1970s. Morris called him “a remarkable man whose career spans nearly one third of our nation’s history” from the Watergate era to war on terror.
The documentary will not be Morris’ first about a U.S. Secretary of Defense. He profiled Robert S. McNamara in the 2003 documentary “The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara,” which earned him an Oscar.
Morris also earned praise for his 2008 film about abuse at Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison, “Standard Operating Procedure.”
The title of the new film is thought to be a play on words taken from a speech made by Rumsfeld on February 12, 2002 when he discussed a lack of evidence linking the Iraqi government to the supply of weapons of mass destruction to extremist groups.
“There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know,” Rumsfeld said. “There are known unknowns; that is to say there are things that, we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns ...”
Other partners on the “The Unknown Known” are History Films, and Participant Media - the company behind Oscar-winning documentaries “An Inconvenient Truth” and “The Cove.”
Reporting By Zorianna Kit, editing by Jill Serjeant and Todd Eastham