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Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)

8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 6,378 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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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:

Pros ti skoteini meria tis dimokratias  »

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:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Sgt. Ken Davis: People were told to rough up Iraqis that wouldn't cooperate. We were also told they're nothing but dogs. And all of a sudden you start looking at these people as less then human. And you start doing things to them you would never dream of. And that's were it got scary.
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User Reviews

 
A point of view well substantiated with facts.
8 February 2008 | by (San Francisco) – See all my reviews

This film is a worthy attempt to bring what has become a familiar subject throughout the Bush years without necessarily giving the other side an opportunity to state their case. While I personally support what the film is saying about questionable, even criminal policies of the Bush Administration's view on "interrogation" as a betrayal of all this country holds dear, the film leaves itself open to attack which is unfortunate. Tidbits are cherry picked from interviews and Congressional testimony, and while it's understandable that major players didn't want to sit down and give an interview, it's glaring that they aren't given an chance to explain why they've said what they said. I'll acknowledge the filmmaker probably has it right, but nevertheless, it's an unfair tactic.

The chief first hand accounts of information are from U.S. Military personnel who have been convicted of crimes (with the exception of one British national who has a harrowing, convincing story to tell). While what they have to say is compelling, the absence of any testimony of those who gave them those orders is absent. We have their attorneys or third parties removed to interpret what happened...or might have happened. While I couldn't be more sympathetic to the bind we've placed our young men and women in, the last thing I wanted to hear from an individual who's been convicted of torture and "wrongful death" (labeled a homicide by the coroner) is "I'm financially ruined." The moral quandary raised by the film isn't nearly answered until the final credits roll.

And where is Congress? Where is the oversight they are obligated to perform? Oh, they're holding hearings on steroid use in baseball.

We're never sure exactly what we're looking at. "Reenactments" are identified briefly, but clearly there is a lot that isn't documentary footage, and the famous photos of Abu Ghrabib reappear over and over frequently out of context.

This is a shameful chapter in American history, and it needs a less doctrinaire film to expose what are, as pointed out, crimes of war. One of the most effective moments is when the filmmaker's father appears over the closing credits. He is a former interrogator in WWII. His outrage rings true, and it should be every American's cry as well.


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