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Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,207 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 35 user | 83 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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Title: Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 9 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 »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 January 2009 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Taxi to the Dark Side  »

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)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Well-supported proof of the inefficiency of a Bush administration policy
25 February 2008 | by (Xanadu) – See all my reviews

This is yet another documentary aimed at the Bush administration hitting in the soft spot with one of the most stringent issues related to the post 9/11 events. What makes Gibney's film worth watching is its effectiveness in representing its subject matter. Much of this effectiveness stems from the fact that this is, as far as possible, an objective approach. It tries to link the major flaws of the Bush administration to the chain of command that leads to such heinous crimes as depicted in the film. The faults of the administration are not presupposed but shown to be the case in an argumentative manner. It's easy to point the finger and say that something is amiss with the U.S army and its procedures but to actually prove it like a surgeon cutting and exposing the wound is much more convincing.

The subject matter is not entirely new, there have been serious debates about the Bagram and Abu Ghrayb interrogation procedures for the suspects of terrorism as far as 2004 but the issue has never really hit the public with significant impact. This documentary demonstrates without a shadow of a doubt that the U.S army is responsible for murder and the guilt is shared by the administrations' contempt for a legal system (The Geneva Convention) that should give the procedural framework to handle the most difficult cases (even terrorists) as humanely as possible. After all, the Americans handled Hitler's bunch very carefully and they executed them only AFTER they were proved guilty.

But besides showing that the Bush administrations' lack of interest for the law and the absurd behavior among many soldiers lead to innocents' being killed, this film analyzes the matter as a case of administrative failure. Bush and Rumsfeld etc. are not only shown to be immoral (which was a thing that didn't need proof, anyway) but they are shown to be ineffective leaders who are unable to take the best decisions. Torture is not the best alternative to obtain information, not as much as effective as gaining the trust of the prisoner, for instance. Then why do it? Just for the fun of it?

I liked the way this was realized on a technical scale, very good pacing, editing and cinematography (the shots in Afganisthan really managed to capture the beauty of the landscape)


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