The Unknown Known

Why is this man smiling?
The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld

On Blu-ray & DVD
Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Released; Now Available Buy or Rent Now

On Demand (VOD)
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for some disturbing images and brief nudity.
1 hour, 36 minutes

Storylines 2 view all

Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris (The Fog of War) offers a mesmerizing portrait of Donald Rumsfeld, one of the key architects of the Iraq War, and a larger-than-life character who provoked equal levels of fury and adulation from the American public. Rather than conducting a conventional interview, Morris has Rumsfeld perform and expound on his “snowflakes,” tens of thousands of memos (many never previously published) he composed as a congressman and as an advisor to four different presidents, twice as Secretary of Defense. These memos provide a window onto history—not history as it actually happened, but history as Rumsfeld wants us to see it. Morris makes plain that Rumsfeld’s “snowflakes”—whether intended to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate, or control history—are contradicted by the facts. official plot version from

Additional Notes

  • According to Errol Morris: "The Unknown Known: The Life and Times of Donald Rumsfeld is the story of a remarkable man whose career spans nearly one third of our nation's history. I am delighted to partner with The History Channel, Participant and RADiUS in this extraordinary project."