In this grimly compelling film, documentary filmmaker Errol Morris tackles one of his most perplexing and ambiguous subjects: former defense secretary Robert McNamara, widely identified (and in many quarters reviled) as the architect of the Vietnam War.
The octogenarian McNamara, a former head of Ford Motor Co. whose government service began during World War II, is filmed via Morris's invention, the Interrotron, a device that allows interviewer and subject to look into each other's eyes while also staring directly into the camera lens.
This enables the subject to maintain eye contact with the audience, and given the frequently disturbing nature of McNamara's revelations, it makes for quite an eerie viewing experience.
He discusses at length the Allied campaign against Japan in WWII, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the costly, protracted conflict in Vietnam. From his musings Morris extrapolates 11 lessons, which are presented one at a time to impose film structure.