Friday, May 1, 2009

Taxi to the Dark Side

If after viewing this film you feel sickened, angry or simply uncomfortable at a visceral level, don’t worry, it only confirms that you are a sane human being.
In 2004 the pictures of the Abu Ghraib torture and mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers hit the public, and after being reported on in nearly every country of the world, including a special report in TIME magazine, the American government was forced to admit to the facts and conduct an investigation. During these investigations another case came to the surface about a 22 year old taxi driver/farmer named Dilawar who in December 2002 was arrested on false charges, and taken to the Bagram prison where he was tortured until he died five days later, despite his interrogators/torturers later admitting they believed in his innocence.
This case is the spring-board for Alex Gibney’s documentary which won the Academy Award© in 2008. The film tries to understand how such a thing was possible, and explores what mechanisms allowed for such an action to take place.
The film’s serious tone and objective manner makes it more than a harsh critique on the Bush administration, and unlike other award winning documentaries presents a precise dissection of the events, with interviews of former soldiers and prisoners from the prisons and from former members of Bush’s staff.
A must see, but be warned because this taxi takes you not only to the dark side of war and current America, but to that of Human Nature itself, and the fare might be a bit of your peace of mind and trust in this world.

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