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Taxi To the Dark Side

50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg, Christopher Beiring, Willie Brand
  • Directors: Alex Gibney
  • Writers: Alex Gibney
  • Producers: Alex Gibney, Blair Foster, Don Edkins, Don Glascoff, Eva Orner
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Velocity / Thinkfilm
  • DVD Release Date: September 30, 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001BEK8FQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,759 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Taxi To the Dark Side" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

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Format: DVD
Having seen "Taxi to the Dark Side" nearly three weeks ago at a private screening in midtown Manhattan, my mind is still reeling from the harsh, brutal images of torture committed by United States soldiers against suspected terrorists and irregulars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This may be the most important documentary film on the "War on Terror", and while it is a liberal polemic film, it does an effective job of arguing its case by showing its graphic images, instead of having someone like filmmaker Michael Moore seen onscreen ranting and raving. The central saga which runs through the nearly two-hour long film is the last taxi ride of a young Afghan taxi driver, Dilawar, an innocent bystander who was picked up by American troops, tortured, and died from his severe injuries at the American detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan.

"Taxi to the Dark Side" deserves the ample recognition it has earned, and may be remembered as a superb documentary film in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow's "Harvest of Shame". But it isn't perfect for the following reasons. First it accepts as gospel truth, the fact that most of those being held by American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba are as innocent as Dilawar was. Second it lacks more insightful analysis from the likes of noted military defense attorney Eugene Fidell, who represented my cousin, former U. S. Army chaplain James Yee (Much to my amazement, Yee's filmed testimony was not included at all in the final cut of this film.). Will "Taxi to the Dark Side" change the opinions of many? Hopefully it will force those who've seen it to ask serious, probing questions about inhumane treatment of prisoners by some American soldiers, and perhaps persuade them to convince the Federal political leadership in Washington, D. C. to act more aggressively to avert similar instances of prisoner mistreatment in the future.
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Chris Luallen on March 22, 2008
With this extraordinary film director Alex Gibney makes a convincing and well researched case against the acts of torture, abuse and humiliation committed by the U.S. military against political prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay.

A major sub-plot is the story of Dilawar, an Afghan taxi driver who ended up dying from injuries suffered while he was held in Bagram, a former Soviet prison coverted into a U.S. detention center for suspected terroists. However, the film explains how Dilawar was actually an innocent man turned in by an actual terroist seeking to throw investigators off his trail. One expert explains how only about 1% of the detainees are actual terroists and that the vast majority were not even arrested by the U.S. military. But rather were turned in by Pakastani and Afghani bounty hunters seeking financial compensation.

The numerous forms of abuse inflicted on these foreign detainees is depicted in gruesome detail. The methods of torture included not only water boarding but various means of sexual humiliation such as having women's panties placed on their heads, forced masturbation and female military officers caressing them while whispering "your mother is a whore" into their ears. The ultimate goal was inflicting a complete mental, physical and emotional breakdown on the prisoners. Other tactics used were sleep depravation achieved by handcuffing detainees to the ceiling for days at a time and the sort of brutal physical assaults that led to the death of the innocent Dilawar.

Of course, it was the low ranking soldiers who ended up facing punishment when these acts of illegal abuse were discovered.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By thames on September 29, 2008
Format: DVD
"Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one."
Friedrich Nietzsche

Well that quote came to mind as I watched this depressing 2007 Academy Award Winner directed by Alex Gibney (ENRON: THE SMARTEST GUYS IN THE ROOM -also excellent). This time Gibney explores America's journey into darkness that is the so-called "war on terror" (BTW people, when you hear the words "war on" before anything you can bet it is a total disaster.). I was reminded of Nietzsche's warning and then of other lines from that great source of dark and enigmatic quotations..."Man is the cruelest animal." "Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule." But back to the first quote, I think the men that got us into this situation already were nihilistic, souless beasts and so hardly did much changing. What we should realize is that *they changed America.* I am well aware of America's "mistakes" and sins of the past but things are different now... and many of us feel it. On top of that -and more importantly- sadly many, all too many, of the people they chased after weren't monsters at all, but just people. Regular people in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Take the story of "a young rural Afghan cabdriver", named Dilawar. Turned out he was falsely accused of helping to plan an attack on American troops. Dilawar was tortured for about two days and died. He is presented here as "the first fatal victim of Vice President Dick Cheney's devotion to 'working the dark side'--torturing, humiliating, and otherwise abusing prisoners in the 'Global War on Terror.
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Is worshiping a torture implement - the Christian cross- desensitizes ?
Right from the start you are off base in your thought process. Christians do not worship the cross at all, they worship Jesus and God. The cross is simply a reminder of what was done so that eternal life could be granted to all who believe and follow Jesus. He is the focus of the church and the... Read More
Oct 27, 2009 by Poe Boy |  See all 3 posts
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