The mists of time: control, chaos and irreversibility in The Fog of War

Austin, Thomas (2012) The mists of time: control, chaos and irreversibility in The Fog of War. Studies in Documentary Film, 6 (1). pp. 29-42. ISSN 1750-3280

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Abstract

This article considers how Errol Morris' The Fog of War (2003) mediates the retrospective self-criticisms and self-justifications of former US Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. It traces how the film finds cracks and fissures in McNamara's performance, creating space for an indirect commentary on his conduct, then and now, via sound/image juxtapositions and the gradual emergence of a trajectory of decline and failure. I argue that, in its self-reflexive but ultimately frustrating treatment of the Vietnam War and of history, Fog of War proves unable to move beyond the cul-de-sac of (limited) regret on the part of McNamara, and a reminder to its viewers of their own powerlessness, against the apparatus of war, and against time.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Depositing User: Thomas Austin
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2013 08:16
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2013 08:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46455
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