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FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE FEATURE DOCUMENTARY

TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE

TFF 2007
FILM GUIDE ARCHIVE TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE [TFF 2007]

On December 1, 2002, a Kabul taxi driver named Dilawar took three passengers for a ride, and never returned to his home. Four days later, he arrived at the U.S. military detention center at Bagram Air Base. Five days after that, he was dead. This riveting documentary murder mystery explores how and why this Afghan civilian died while in U.S. custody. The details emerge through an exhaustive and diverse group of interviews with Dilawar's family and friends; current and former military personnel, a former Guantanamo detainee, lawyers for both detainees and the U.S. military, and a slew of journalists and experts. Created by the director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, this unflinching look at the Bush administration's policy on torture not only provides a detailed report of what actually happens when a man like Dilawar arrives at a detention center, but also includes interviews from the personnel who interrogated him and inflicted the injuries that ultimately caused his death. Showing a post- September 11 military culture where rules have been broken and reinvented with little oversight, and where leaders are distant from ground operations, the film exposes the fertile breeding ground that spawned acts Americans would confront in the wake of Abu Ghraib. Skillfully edited and executed, this cinematic documentary is full of stunning shots, shocking photos of prisons and prisoner abuse, as well as news clips and political speeches from a time when most Americans were more naive about what was really happening on the ground. Beginning with tragedy in a small village and winding through the global landscape of the modern U.S. military, Taxi to the Dark Side arrives, finally, in the halls of the Pentagon and the White House.

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Documentary

On December 1, 2002, a Kabul taxi driver named Dilawar took three passengers for a ride, and never returned to his home. Four days later, he arrived at the U.S. military detention center at Bagram Air Base. Five days after that, he was dead. This riveting documentary murder mystery explores how and why this Afghan civilian died while in U.S. custody. The details emerge through an exhaustive and diverse group of interviews with Dilawar's family and friends; current and former military personnel, a former Guantanamo detainee, lawyers for both detainees and the U.S. military, and a slew of journalists and experts. Created by the director of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, this unflinching look at the Bush administration's policy on torture not only provides a detailed report of what actually happens when a man like Dilawar arrives at a detention center, but also includes interviews from the personnel who interrogated him and inflicted the injuries that ultimately caused his death. Showing a post- September 11 military culture where rules have been broken and reinvented with little oversight, and where leaders are distant from ground operations, the film exposes the fertile breeding ground that spawned acts Americans would confront in the wake of Abu Ghraib. Skillfully edited and executed, this cinematic documentary is full of stunning shots, shocking photos of prisons and prisoner abuse, as well as news clips and political speeches from a time when most Americans were more naive about what was really happening on the ground. Beginning with tragedy in a small village and winding through the global landscape of the modern U.S. military, Taxi to the Dark Side arrives, finally, in the halls of the Pentagon and the White House.

Film Information
Year: 2007
Length: 105 minutes
Language: English, Pashtu
Country: USA
Premiere: World
About the Director(s)

ALEX GIBNEY wrote and directed the Oscar®-nominated film Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Recently, he executive produced No End in Sight, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. In addition to Taxi to the Dark Side, Gibney is also at work on Gonzo, a film about Hunter S. Thompson and Burning down the House, for Participant and Magnolia Pictures. Other films by Gibney include: The Trials of Henry Kissinger (writer/producer); Herbie Hancock: Possibilities (producer); Lightning in a Bottle (producer); and Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues (producer).

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