| [[File:Taxi to the dark side.jpg|250px]]|
Theatrical release poster
Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) is a documentary film directed by American filmmaker Alex Gibney, and produced by Eva Orner and Susannah Shipman, which won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It focuses on the murder of an Afghan taxi driver named Dilawar, beaten to death by American soldiers while being held in extrajudicial detention at the Bagram Air Base.
Taxi to the Dark Side examines 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 defense of such methods; the attempts by Congress to uphold the standards of the Geneva Convention forbidding torture; and the popularization of the use of torture techniques in shows such as 24.
It is part of the Why Democracy? series, which consists of ten documentary films from around the world questioning and examining contemporary democracy. As part of the series, Taxi to the Dark Side was broadcast in over 30 different countries around the world from October 8–18, 2007. The BBC cut the film to 79 minutes for broadcast.
The film is said to be the first film to contain images taken within Bagram Air Base.
Critical reception and awardsEdit
Taxi to the Dark Side appeared on some critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2008. Premiere magazine named it the fifth best film of 2008, and Bill White of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer named it the seventh best film of 2008. The film is also scored 100% for critic approval, out of 80 reviews, on Rotten Tomatoes, and is the third highest-rated film in the website's history.
It was named by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as one of 15 films on its documentary feature Oscar shortlist in November 2007. On February 24, 2008, in his acceptance speech for the "Best Documentary Feature" Academy Award, Gibney said:
|“||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.||”|
Controversies and legal disputesEdit
In June 2007, the Discovery Channel bought the rights to broadcast Taxi to the Dark Side. However, in February 2008, it made public its intention never to broadcast the documentary due to its controversial nature. HBO then bought rights to the film and announced that it would be broadcast in September 2008, after which the Discovery Channel announced it would broadcast Taxi to the Dark Side in 2009.
In June 2008, Gibney's company filed for arbitration, arguing that THINKFilm failed to properly distribute and promote the film. He is suing for over a million dollars in damages. Gibney stated that the film has only grossed $280,000.
- Standard Operating Procedure (2008 film)
- Torturing Democracy (2008 film)
- Jan Baz
- Moazzam Begg
- Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse
- Extraordinary rendition by the United States
- U.S. Army and CIA interrogation manuals
- Torture and the United States
- Christopher Beiring
- Canadian Afghan detainee abuse scandal
- Bagram torture and prisoner abuse
- ↑ "Taxi to the Dark Side: Combined details". Internet Movie Database. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0854678/. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
- ↑ The other Guantánamo. Black Hole  Eliza Griswold May 2, 2007[dead link]
- ↑ Director Explores 'Dark Side' Of U.S. Treatment of Detainees  Beckey Bright April 28, 2007
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 "Metacritic: 2008 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/awards/2008/toptens.shtml. Retrieved January 11, 2009. [dead link]
- ↑ "Rotten Tomatoes review of Taxi to the Dark Side". Rotten Tomatoes. 2008-01-22. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/taxi_to_the_dark_side/. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- ↑ "80th Annual Academy Awards Nominees". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 2008-01-22. Archived from the original on 2008-01-23. http://web.archive.org/web/20080123152423/http://www.oscars.org/80academyawards/nominees/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
- ↑ "Shortlist for docu Oscar unveiled". The Hollywood Reporter. 2007-11-20. http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3i587be3b0ca27043557eff60b69803664. Retrieved 2007-12-21. [dead link]
- ↑ UCLA Magazine
- ↑ Democracy Now! 12 Feb 2008 transcript, retrieved on 12 Feb 2008.
- ↑ US documentary maker seeks damages over Oscar film  Christine Kearney 2008-06-26
- ↑ Filmmaker Says Distributor Failed Him  Charles Lyons June 26, 2008
- Film Web Site
- BBC News - Torture film wins Tribeca award 040507
- Crooks and Liars.com movie trailer
- Washington Post - Down a Dark Road by Richard Leiby 27/04/07
- Variety review by Jay Weissberg
- interview with Taxi to the Dark Side director Alex Gibney at Filmmaker Magazine
- Pullquote review
- The Why Democracy? homepage
- Taxi to the Dark Side at the Internet Movie Database