Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Taxi to the Dark Side

The Oscar winning 2007 documentary Taxi to the Dark Side is now in general release. David Denby, in a brief New Yorker review, writes that "the movie produces an uncanny impression of a disastrous logic at work in the interrogation process: the Army and C.I.A. interrogators, under great pressure to produce information, assume that the prisoners under their control must be guilty of something. If not, what are they all doing there? Cut off from any possible counsel, harassed, stripped, hooded, bound, and, in many cases, threatened with dogs or abused physically, the prisoners were locked into a system of punishment before any guilt was established. Sickening, but essential." (David Denby, "Taxi to the Dark Side," The New Yorker, March 31, 2008)

The film reports on the death during interrogation of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver, by American soldiers, then widens to an investigation of the torture regime of the Bush administration.

A. O. Scott, in his New York Times review of the film, writes that "If recent American history is ever going to be discussed with the necessary clarity and ethical rigor, this film will be essential." (A. O. Scott, "Taking a Long, Bumpy Road to Systematic Brutality," New York Times, January 18, 2008). See also Adam Liptak, "The Power of Authority, A Dark Tale," New York Times, December 30, 2007.

(poster from Rotten Tomatoes)

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