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USA 2007
Directed by
Alex Gibney
106 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Taxi To The Dark Side

Alex Gibney’s superbly-constructed, damning indictment of the George W. Bush Administration’s won an Oscar as Best Documentary and it is a credit to the Academy that it did so.

In December 2002, an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar was identified  by a paid informant as a terrorist connected with a rocket attack. Taken to the American prison at Bagram, Afghanistan, he was beaten so violently that he died after five days. An autopsy showed that his legs were so badly injured, they would have had to be amputated, had he lived. Later, the informant who collected U.S. money for fingering him was proven to be the terrorist actually responsible for the crime the innocent Dilawar was charged with.

Gibney uses this incident as a smoking gun that from Bagram to Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo reveals the brutal arrogance of Bush and his cronies, Dick Cheney Donald Rumsfeld et al, who in a post-9/11 environment of public hysteria condoned the torture of  terrorist "suspects" (90% of whom, Gibney reveals were turned in by paid informants) in the name of “American Justice”. Revealing a mixture of stupidity, bigotry, deceit and self-deceit in the top level of the Bush government it is thoroughly researched and passionately committed.  Of course the question is, as always with this kind of material, will it have any effect on those not already converted. One can only hope that it turns at least some away from the dark side.




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