IMDb > Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)
Taxi to the Dark Side
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Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 8 | slideshow) Videos (see all 3)
Taxi to the Dark Side -- 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.
Taxi to the Dark Side -- Clip: Political show
Taxi to the Dark Side -- Clip: Abu Ghraib

Overview

User Rating:
7.8/10   8,374 votes »
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Up 12% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer (WGA):
Alex Gibney (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Taxi to the Dark Side on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 January 2009 (Brazil) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
In 2002, a young cab driver picked up a few passengers near his home in Afghanistan... He never returned.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 10 wins & 3 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Familiar yet essential information about American policy post-9/11 See more (36 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)

Alex Gibney ... Narrator (voice)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Brian Keith Allen ... Soldier - New York studio shoot reenactment
Moazzam Begg ... Himself - Torture Victim (as Moazzam Beg)
Christopher Beiring ... Himself - Captain
Willie Brand ... Himself - Military Police

George W. Bush ... 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

Greg D'Agostino ... Soldier - New York studio shoot reenactment
Ken Davis ... Himself - US Army Sgt.
Lynndie England ... Herself (archive footage)
Tommy Franks ... Himself - General (archive footage)
Carlotta Gall ... Herself - New York Times Reporter
John Galligan ... Himself - Attorney
Frank Gibney ... Himself (as Frank B. Gibney)
Tim Golden ... Himself - New York Times Reporter
Alberto Gonzales ... Himself (archive footage)
Charles A. Graner ... Himself (archive footage)
Gita Gutierrez ... Herself - Attorney
David Hayden ... Himself - Colonel (archive footage)
Donald O. Hebb ... Himself - Behavioral Psychologist
Scott Hennen ... Himself (archive footage) (voice)
Jay Hood ... Himself - Brigadier General
Scott Horton ... Himself - President of the International League for Human Rights
John Hutson ... Himself - Rear Admiral
Maan Kaassamani ... Detainee - New York studio shoot reenactment
Anthony Lagouranis ... Himself - Military Intelligence (as Tony Lagouranis)
Eric Lahammer ... Himself - Military Interrogator
Carl Levin ... Himself - Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee
Steven Loring ... Himself - Sergeant

John McCain ... Himself (archive footage)
Alfred W. McCoy ... Himself - Professor of Political History
James McGarrah ... Himself - Rear Admiral
Dan McNeill ... Himself - General (archive footage) (voice)
Geoffrey D. Miller ... Himself - Major General (archive footage)
Alberto J. Mora ... Himself - General Counsel of the US Navy
Anthony Morden ... Himself - Sergeant: Military Police
Dan Mori ... Himself - Major
Richard Myers ... Himself - General, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (archive footage)
Karyn Plonsky ... Soldier - New York studio shoot reenactment

Colin Powell ... Himself (archive footage)
Jack Reed ... Himself - Member on the Senate Armed Services Committee (archive footage)

Condoleezza Rice ... Herself (archive footage)

Donald Rumsfeld ... Himself (archive footage)
Selena Salcedo ... Herself - Sergeant
Randall M. Schmidt ... Himself - Lieutenant General
Clive Stafford Smith ... Himself - Lawyer
Glendale Walls ... Himself - Military Intelligence
Lawrence Wilkerson ... Himself - US Army Colonel
Tom Wilner ... Himself - Attorney
Carolyn A. Wood ... Herself - Captain (archive footage)
John Yoo ... Himself - US Department of Justice

Tim Russert ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Alex Gibney 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Alex Gibney (written by)

Produced by
Sidney Blumenthal .... executive producer
Don Edkins .... executive producer: Steps International
Hans Robert Eisenhauer .... commissioning editor: ZDF/Arte
Martin Fisher .... co-producer (as Marty Fisher)
Blair Foster .... co-producer
Alex Gibney .... producer
Don Glascoff .... executive producer
Mette Heide .... executive producer: Steps International
Mette Hoffman Meyer .... executive producer
Robert Johnson .... executive producer
Sloane Klevin .... co-producer
Eva Orner .... producer
Susannah Shipman .... producer
Jedd Wider .... executive producer
Todd Wider .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Ivor Guest 
 
Cinematography by
Maryse Alberti 
Greg Andracke 
 
Film Editing by
Sloane Klevin 
 
Art Department
Michael Ahern .... carpenter: New York studio shoot, reenactment (as Mike Ahern)
Joe Cairo .... art director: New York studio shoot, reenactment
Amanda Ford .... production designer: New York studio shoot, reenactment
Gina Freedman .... props: New York studio shoot, reenactment
 
Sound Department
Felix Andrew .... sound mixer
Michael Boyle .... additional sound
Travis Call .... audio post supervisor
Margaret Crimmins .... sound designer
Jim Daumeyer .... additional sound
Don Grissom .... additional sound
Michael Isabell .... additional sound
Steve Osmon .... sound mixer
James Peterson .... additional sound (as Jimmy Peterson)
Brenda Ray .... additional sound
Len Schmitz .... additional sound
Greg Smith .... sound designer
Paul Thompson .... additional sound
Tony Volante .... sound re-recording mixer
Claudia Woloshin .... additional sound
 
Visual Effects by
Craig Davis .... visual effects designer: Version2
Tim Farrell .... visual effects designer: Version2
Lydia Holness .... head of production: Version2
Lydia Holness .... visual effects producer: Version2
Kelley McDermott .... visual effects producer: Version2
Mike McKenna .... visual effects designer: Version 2
Rebecca Mitchell .... assistant visual effects producer: Version2
Federico Saenz-Recio .... visual effects designer: Version2
Kieran Walsh .... inferno artist: Version2
Kieran Walsh .... visual effects creative director: Version2
 
Stunts
Elliot Santiago .... stunt coordinator: New York studio shoot, reenactment
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Felix Andrew .... additional cinematographer
Ben Bloodwell .... assistant camera
Mariusz Cichon .... assistant camera
Nate Clapp .... assistant camera (as Nate Clap)
Luis Colon .... grip
Matt Green .... additional cinematographer
Andrew B. Hansen .... gaffer (as Andrew Hanson)
Roger Holliday .... assistant camera (as Roger Holiday)
Peter Jouvenal .... additional cinematographer
Idris Kabulzad .... additional cinematographer
Brian Leach .... gaffer
Chris Li .... additional cinematographer
Alan McIntyre Smith .... gaffer (as Alan Smith)
Étienne Sauret .... additional cinematographer (as Etienne Sauret)
Brett Wiley .... additional cinematographer
Claudia Woloshin .... assistant camera
 
Animation Department
Craig Davis .... animator: Version2
Tim Farrell .... animator: Version2
Mike McKenna .... animator: Version2
Federico Saenz-Recio .... animator: Version2
 
Casting Department
Daphne McWilliams .... executive director of casting: New York studio shoot, reenactment
Christine Nelson .... casting: New York studio shoot, reenactment
 
Editorial Department
Marc Brown .... film output: digital intermediate
Eric Bruggemann .... additional editor
Tim Farrell .... on-line editor: Version2
Nick Fraser .... commissioning editor: BBC Storyville
Lindy Jankura .... assistant editor
Jonathan Liebert .... digital cinema mastering
Scot Olive .... colorist: PostWorks (as Scott Olive)
Leigh Anne Sides .... assistant editor
Don Wyllie .... on-line editor: high definition. Frame: Runner
 
Music Department
Fred Ala .... musician: acoustic guitar
Cameron Craig .... recording and mix engineer
Amar Dhanjan .... musician: singer
Adam Green .... musician: steel guitar and electric guitar
Mario Grigorov .... composer: additional music
Ivor Guest .... musician: keyboards and arrangements
Robert Logan .... musician: keyboards
Faheem Mahzar .... musician: singer
John McCullough .... music supervisor
Philip Sheppard .... musician: cello and electric cello
Paul Wassif .... musician: dobro
 
Other crew
Lisa Andracke .... production assistant
Richard Dworkin .... transcripts: Transcripts Associates
Jacqueline Eckhouse .... production counsel: Sloss Law (as Jackie Eckhouse)
Salimah El-Amin .... researcher (as Salimah El Amin)
Ben Fine .... end titles
Jennifer Zolten Freed .... production accountant (as Jennifer Freed)
Garren Givens .... intern
Lisa Gray .... intern
Rahmat Haqmal .... translator
Erin Heidenreich .... sales agent
Charlie Hoxie .... intern
Nick Johnson .... intern
David Joray .... production assistant
Barbara Karen .... production accountant
Marzia Milanesi .... publicist
Dana O'Keefe .... sales agent
Amanda Ritchie .... production assistant
Peter Russotti .... production coordinator
Marcia Rutledge .... insurance: Marsh Entertainment Insurance
Hanif Sherzad .... fixer: Afghanistan
Ben Sozanski .... production assistant
Ben Sozanski .... researcher
Robert Stein .... legal counsel: Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn
Rebecca Wexler .... intern
Crystal Whelan .... production coordinator
Jordan Young .... production assistant
 
Thanks
Frank Gibney .... dedicatee (as Frank B. Gibney)
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
MPAA:
Rated R for disturbing images, and content involving torture and graphic nudity
Runtime:
106 min | Finland:53 min (TV)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:MA | Canada:14A (Alberta/Manitoba) | Canada:R (British Columbia) | Canada:18A (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | USA:R
Filming Locations:

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.See more »
Soundtrack:
WaterboarderSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
40 out of 56 people found the following review useful.
Familiar yet essential information about American policy post-9/11, 21 February 2008
Author: Chris Knipp from Berkeley, California

Taxi to the Dark Side doesn't contain anything wholly new, just more complete detail and important clarifications, such as the fact that Guantanamo uses very much the same basic methods to Abu Ghraib, though the location is cleaner and of course was not formerly used by Saddam Hussein. Dilawar, the Afghan taxi driver, was essentially beaten to death by American soldiers in the Bagram prison. He did not live long once his ill-trained but plainly-directed captors got hold of him, but his final hours were terrifying and horrible. They kicked his legs till they turned to pulp and would have had to be amputated, had he lived. A heart condition caused an embolism that went to his brain and was the cause of death, which on the official US papers given to Dilawar's family, in English so they did not know what they meant, was "homicide," but the officer in charge of the prison denied this when queried. Gibney, who was responsible previously for the documentary Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, presents interviews with some of the American soldiers responsible for Dilawar's death. They were, of course, only following orders. Other talking heads clarify the fact that the "gloves are off" policy by US authorities following 9/11/01 goes back to Cheney, approved by Bush, carried out with gusto by Rumsfeld, and sent directly down the line to the low-ranking and inexperienced people whose behavior after the Abu Ghraib scandal emerged was claimed by authorities to be that of people on the "night shift" or "a few bad apples." This film thoroughly disproves that claim.

Gibney shows how the US administration has become willing to blatantly disregard the rule of law, domestic as well as international, to fight their "war on terror" in ways that involved extreme cruelty and murder. In doing this they had the assistance of various corrupt or immoral--or, if you prefer, simply very misguided--men of the law and the judiciary.

The practices have been illegal. They may also have been variously unwise. The photos of Americans mistreating Muslim prisoners at Abu Ghraib are good recruiting material for anti-US terrorists. But torture also simply doesn't work, accomplishes nothing useful. Much time is given to Alfred McCoy, author of a book called 'The Question of Torture' and a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. McCoy recounts that the CIA has been working on methods of coercion for all the decades of its existence, but their experiments have yielded little except lawsuits from victimized guinea pigs. Another authority, a former CIA operative, asserts that the best method to obtain information is to gain the confidence of the prisoner and convince him you can help him.

But post 9/11 "high value" prisoners were clearly tortured with anything their captors could think of--and then confessed to anything they could think of. The film clarifies that psychological experiments by Donald Hobb at McGill University in the Seventies proved sensory deprivation is the most effective means of torture; at least according to Hobb it can induce psychosis within 48 hours. The film shows that basically all "terrorism" suspects here and abroad have been subjected to sensory deprivation. That is what covering the ears, head, and hands does; and it was and is standard treatment to continue this for hours and days. This is more effective than pain. But effective at doing what? Breaking down the prisoner, not obtaining reliable information, or any information, for that matter.

Hence the widely spread US policies are not only harmful, dangerous, immoral, and illegal, but stupid and, in intelligence-gathering terms, worthless.

The "extraordinary rendition," waterboarding, sensory deprivation, etc. don't work in practical terms, but they have a political purpose. They convince people that the US is "getting tough" on its enemies. But the US has not been holding real enemies. If it were, the useless prisoners or wrongly captured would be filtered out, as Dilawar ought to have been. He was innocent. And now the US authorities are in a bad position. They cannot acquit even those few Guantanamo prisoners they are putting up for show trials, because to do so would reveal that they had been held for six years for no reason. That would look bad. Varieties of Orwellian terminology have been devised to describe these prisoners. The film also shows "tours" of Guantanamo and deflates the claims of the tour guides.

One reason for all this is who's been in charge: a group of draft dodgers who never served in a war. Senator McCain is shown in the film as a man who opposes torture for good reason: because he experienced it during his years in a North Vietnam prison.

Another issue: American has a developed a culture of guilty-as-charged, of hysterical attacks on imagined enemies. An example: the popular jingoistic TV program "24," starring Kiefer Sutherland as a CIA agent who "saves" millions by torturing mad terrorists with ticking bombs in Times Square. A Dark Side talking head says that there has never been such a person captured, and suggests that if there were, such a person would have the commitment to die rather than reveal information about his plot.

I do not know if torture never gets you information, though the assertion that insinuating oneself into the confidence of a prisoner is more effective makes sense. What is clear enough from Gibney's powerful and disturbing film (which contains many images not for the squeamish) is that the torture and wrongful imprisonment and lawlessness of the US as a nation post-9/11 indicate a country that has become very cruel and very stupid.

Andrew O'Hehir of Salon.com recounts that at a post-screening Q&A when Gibney was asked what he would like his film to accomplish, he said "I hope it provokes some rage." "Well," says O'Hehir, "it worked on me." May it work on everyone who sees it.

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