Taxi to the Dark Side Movie Review

R, 106 m., 2007

Director: Alex Gibney
Writer: Alex Gibney
Stars: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg

Alex Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side is a horrifying, unblinking and appalling documentary, confirming your worst fears about the terrible, no-good, very bad things that your government is up to in the name of protecting “freedom.”

It begins with an inquiry into the mysterious disappearance of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver who was sold out by a paid informant, named as a terrorist, and taken to Bagram Air Base, an American prison facility in Afghanistan, where he was subsequently tortured to death. Your hard-earned tax dollars at work, no?

Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) then takes to looking into the scandal over the torture going on at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib – the site of the infamous photos leaked of US soldiers “interrogating” (read: humiliating) prisoners beyond the call of “duty.” Gibney gives us interviews with several US officials and former officials, all of whom testify with remarkable candor and, in some cases, remorse about the terrible things they did, or allowed their subordinates to do in the name of “national security.”

In 2006, Bush signed his own pardon, stretching just to himself and his Administration, leaving the soldiers who were following orders out to dry, to be court-martialed and given jail time for “doing their job.” To do such things to another human being is wrong, no matter the reason. Should the soldiers in question have disobeyed such orders? It would be easy for any one of us sitting here to diagree with their decisions to go along with it, but it would be hard to resist if we were only in their shoes. Something to think about.

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Filed under 2008

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