The Unknown Known
Play Trailer

Screens April 25 thru May 8.

In The Unknown Known, 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. The Unknown Known is an illumination of the mystery of Donald Rumsfeld, an unknown known.

Errol Morris (Producer/Director)
Errol Morris’s tenth documentary feature is The Unknown Known, a portrait of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Morris’s films have won many awards including the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature for The Fog of War, the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for A Brief History of Time, the Grand Jury Prize, Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for Standard Operating Procedure, and the Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America for The Thin Blue Line. His documentaries have repeatedly appeared on many “ten best” lists and have been honored by the National Society of Film Critics as well as the National Board of Review. Morris’s work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Roger Ebert, a champion of Morris’s work, called his first film, Gates of Heaven (1978), one of the ten best films of all time.

Morris has directed over 1,000 television commercials including campaigns for Apple, Levi’s, ESPN, Nike, Target, Citibank, and Miller High Life. Morris has also directed short films for the 2002 and 2007 Academy Awards, the IBM Centennial and many charitable and political organizations including Stand Up to Cancer and Moveon.org. In 2001, Morris won an Emmy for Photobooth, a spot directed for PBS.

Morris is the author of two New York Times best sellers, and is a regular contributor to The New York Times opinion pages.

Morris has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2007, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a graduate student at Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley. He has received honorary degrees from the Columbia School of Journalism, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Brandeis University, and Middlebury College.

Morris lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Julia Sheehan, an art historian, and their French Bulldog, Ivan.