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Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

R  |   |  Documentary, Crime, War  |  23 January 2009 (Brazil)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 7,670 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 36 user | 84 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

An in-depth look at the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Narrator (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Soldier - New York studio shoot reenactment
Moazzam Begg ...
Himself - Torture Victim (as Moazzam Beg)
Christopher Beiring ...
Himself - Captain
Willie Brand ...
Himself - Military Police
...
Himself (archive footage)
Jack Cafferty ...
Himself (archive footage)
Brian Cammack ...
Himself - Military Police
William Cassara ...
Himself - Attorney
Doug Cassel ...
Himself - Professor
Dick Cheney ...
Himself (archive footage)
Jack Cloonan ...
Himself - Former FBI Agent
Damien Corsetti ...
Himself - Military Interrogator
Thomas Curtis ...
Himself - Sergeant: Military Police
...
Soldier - New York studio shoot reenactment
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Storyline

Using the torture and death in 2002 of an innocent Afghan taxi driver as the touchstone, this film examines changes after 9/11 in U.S. policy toward suspects in the war on terror. Soldiers, their attorneys, one released detainee, U.S. Attorney John Yoo, news footage and photos tell a story of abuse at Bagram Air Base, Abu Ghraib, and Guantanamo Bay. From Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Gonzalez came unwritten orders to use any means necessary. The CIA and soldiers with little training used sleep deprivation, sexual assault, stress positions, waterboarding, dogs and other terror tactics to seek information from detainees. Many speakers lament the loss of American ideals in pursuit of security. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 2002, a young cab driver picked up a few passengers near his home in Afghanistan... He never returned.

Genres:

Documentary | Crime | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing images, and content involving torture and graphic nudity | See all certifications »

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 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 2009 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Kurs do Krainy Cienia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,656 (USA) (18 January 2008)

Gross:

$274,661 (USA) (30 May 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Himself - Military Interrogator: The brass knew. They saw'em shackled, they saw'em hooded, and they said, "Right on! You're doing a great job."
See more »

Connections

Features The Situation Room (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Kafi Noir
Written by Sheila Chandra and Steve Coe
Published by Moonsung Music
Performed by Sheila Chandra
Courtesy of Real World Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The award-winning documentary you're not going to see
3 March 2008 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

... at least not on Discovery Channel.

Said director Alex Gibney recently (on DemocracyNow): "Well, it turns out that the Discovery Channel isn't so interested in discovery. I mean, I heard that — I was told a little bit before my Academy Award nomination that they had no intention of airing the film..."

Discovery Channel has bought the exclusive TV rights for the next 3 years, but Gibney hopes they can be persuaded to sell them "for a profit".

And it is a powerful film. Although it reveals nothing new about the torture and degrading techniques we've become accustomed to over the last three years, it puts politician's faces and statements in context with a "real" victim and a name: young Afghan Taxi driver Dilawar, who was arrested at a checkpoint for alleged involvement in a rocket attack. Five days later he died at Bagram, after two days of continuous beatings, standing up in chains inside his solitary confinement cell. The American coroner checked "homicide" on his death certificate and handed it with the body to his family, who couldn't read English.

The film then takes us along the ride from Afghanistan to the present day. Dilawar was only the beginning, and one of two detainees who died from torture roughly at the same time. Today, about 180 people have died in custody, 38 with "homicide" on their death certificates. Dilawar's torturers tell their story. They took the rap, they repent, but is this justice? What's the bigger picture, the one that's usually glossed over, and the reason Discovery deems this documentary "controversial"?

Alex Gibney dismantles "Torture the American way" just like he did the Enron scandal in "Enron: The smartest guys in the room", from the inside to the bigger inside, like a Russian doll. You will hear the words "war crimes", see the infamous torture memo, Abu Ghraib photos and film, Kiefer Sutherland torturing with electric wires, Guantanamo, Cheney, Rumsfield, Bush and their lawyers wriggling around the t-word and egging on that "we must take our gloves off". "We have to work the dark side, if you will. We're going to spend time in the shadows", says Cheney.

"But... is the dark side stronger?"

"No. Quicker, easier, more seductive. Anger, fear, aggression, the dark side are they.

"Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."


41 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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This films supporters don't seem to understand basics starmedia11
Obama: Close Guantanamo Bay jjef_21
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From a Canadian: Omar Khadr, and a quote from Ben Franklin jjef_21
Absurd attempt at portrait of warden's innocence are-4
Standard Operating Procedure is JUST like this.. onthalookout
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