Taxi to the Dark Side
Posted by Dave on April 4, 2008
Taxi to the Dark Side is an excellent documentary charting the recent history of the US Governments use of torture. I hadn’t realised that a high level legal adviser to the President, John Yoo, went as far as publicly arguing that “there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering the torture of a child of a suspect in custody – including by crushing that child’s testicles.” Rationality gone mad – his name has gone on my list of people whose testicles do need crushing.
As a side note, I enjoyed Stephen Kings recent comments on the debate as to whether waterboarding is torture or not “if the Bush administration didn’t think it was torture, they ought to do some personal investigation. Someone in the Bush family should actually be waterboarded so they could report on it to George. I said, I didn’t think he would do it, but I suggested Jenna be waterboarded and then she could talk about whether or not she thought it was torture.”
“This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light.” Alex Gibney, Director, Academy Award acceptance speech.
Interview with Alex Gibney on Democracy Now.
Taxi to the Dark Side is an Academy Award winning 2007 documentary film directed by American filmmaker Alex Gibney, and produced by Eva Orner and Susannah Shipman.
The film focuses around the controversial death in custody of an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar. Dilawar was beaten to death by American soldiers while being held in extrajudicial detention at the Bagram Air Base.
Taxi to the Dark Side also goes on to examine America’s policy on torture and interrogation in general, specifically the CIA’s use of torture and their research into sensory deprivation. There is description of the opposition to the use of torture from its political and military opponents, as well as the defence of such methods; the attempts by Congress to uphold the standards of the Geneva Convention forbidding torture; and the popularisation of the use of torture techniques in shows such as 24.
Taxi to the Dark Side is part of the Why Democracy? series. The series consists of ten documentary films from around the world questioning and examining contemporary democracy. As part of the series Taxi to the Dark Side will be broadcast in no less than 35 different countries around the world between the 8th and 18th of October 2007. The BBC cut their broadcast down to 79 minutes. Wikipedia
From the Fanonite.