Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

Taxi to the Dark Side is a serious film about the future of America. It may be shocking and disturbing as its title implies, because the subject matter is torture as a weapon of choice in the War Against Terror, but it has great visual grace and assurance: Gibney edits the material for maximum clarity and impact. His shots are beautiful and unexpectedly tranquil.

The case of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver, beaten to death in 2002 while in U.S. military custody forms the heart of this examination of the abuses committed during the detainment and interrogation of political prisoners. The film uncovers an inescapable link between the tragic incidents that unfolded in Bagram and the policies made at the very highest level of the United States government in Washington, D.C. Combining the cool detachment of a forensic expert with the heated indignation of a proud American who holds his country to a high standard, Gibney’s film reveals how the Bush administration has systematically betrayed the very ideals it professes to uphold.
From Dilawar's sad and purposeless death Gibney spirals his story outward to encompass the whole of the Bush administration's post-9/11 attitude toward torture, detention, and the rules of war. Far from being a leftist cry of hysteria, it deliberately and devastatingly lays out its case through interviews with and news footage about a wide range of subjects: fellow prisoners at Bagram; Carlotta Gall and Tim Golden, who reported on Dilawar’s story for The New York Times; etc.
You can buy Taxi to the Dark Side.

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