Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side

DVD
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Investigates the torture and killing of an innocent Afghani taxi driver in a gripping probe into reckless abuses of government power. This stunningly crafted narrative demonstrates how one man's life and death symbolizes the erosion of our civil rights.
Edition: Widescreen.
Branch Call Number: 363.320973 TAX
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (approximately 106 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in.

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Any documentary that features an interview with University of Wisconsin history professor Alfred McCoy is bound to be good, and TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE is. After watching this film you will have no doubt that the U.S. Government implemented an elaborate program of torture after 9/11. One of the interesting things that McCoy points out is how essential McGill University professor Donald Hebb's sensory deprivation research is to the CIA's use of torture. Hebb found that after three days of being blindfolded, locked away in a room while wearing sound-blocking headphones and heavy mittens, anyone can be reduced to a whimpering idiot.

c
Curiouskind
Mar 09, 2017

A film that effortlessly connects the dots about the use of torture by the military in times of war, contrary to what much of mainstream media conveys, which tries to compress events into convenient sound bites, oftentimes, with mixed results, while others will mislead you completely and, yes, what our own government tries to feed us, sometimes adding to our obfuscation -- so be cognizant which sources you follow. It really does take a comprehensive investigation and full feature film to unravel a sordid and complex subject such as this, but don't take my word for it; watch this film by Alex Gibney, who is much more comprehensive and eloquent in his storytelling, and with keen research abilities that packs a punch. Can you imagine being imprisoned without access to habeas corpus, all the while being tortured in the meantime, and where your tormentors are taught to treat you as less than human and further, are backed by the formidable might of the Department of Defense? I thought we stood for a higher standard and learned from war time atrocities of the past, which was forged through an international agreement. So if a higher standard isn't what we are aiming for, what do we stand for? [Pause here for this is not a rhetorical question.] Again, no officers, or higher-ups for that matter, were charged with any wrongdoing, much less homicide. And doesn't this sound like a recurring theme, even vaguely familiar? Remember what happened with the financiers who devised increasingly more complicated loan packages for Americans even though they knew, in the end, that it wasn't a sustainable product, and in fact, it was headed down the road to a national catastrophe -- they knew this, and still they forged ahead -- which we now know was the impetus to the Great Recession and which devastated so many American lives and annihilated their life savings -- let me repeat that, devastated their life savings along with their dreams -- and caused all of those homes to foreclose, a domino effect which spread to every corner of the country and infiltrated every community, entire livelihoods, one right after another and for all the world to watch, with nearly every adult wondering when their number will be called next, and an act -- maybe a calculation that included too few -- so ruinous and narcissistic, all in one, that it shook the global economy until it became unstable and made entire countries insecure, befalling them, and worse. Well, the answer appears to be scot-free, and they are now living the life -- and with whose money? You got it, with the collective dreams of so many Americans who had so diligently and responsibly labored and planned ahead for, sometimes with the advice from the very same who would later stray from them, and the financiers simply repackaged their customers' dreams and converted it into their own dreams in a way that it would be recognizable to them so as to live out this dream, this improved dream, and to be enjoyed, for themselves. This really is a taxi ride to the dark side. What a way to restate the lessons we have too soon forgotten or have chosen to forget as a country through the tragic story of a taxi driver and a family man whose aim was to provide for his family and to try to secure their well-being, nothing more and nothing less; condolences to Dilawar's family.

b
BlueHippo
Jul 16, 2013

The Nazi's don't have anything on us. This is shameful.

voisjoe1 Dec 24, 2012

“Taxi to the Dark Side” supplements info found in the books “The Black Banners,” “Ghost Plane,” and “The Dark Side,” all books that describe the descent of America from a country that derides torture to a country that applauds torture. The tape indicates that a recent poll indicates that 35% of Americans now believe that torture is OK. Now some people have authoritarian personalities, so some people are naturally going to believe in torture. And some people come from totalitarian societies, so they naturally believe that torture is just a part of man’s nature. But 35%??? This is a sad state that our country has been brought to by Cheney, Rumsfield and subordinates like John Woo. The film reiterates that the torture techniques so famous as filmed in Abu Ghraib, migrated from Bagram and GITMO like a deadly virus. It was not some new phenomenon devised by privates and other low level soldiers, but a secret plan by Cheney and Rumsfeld to help get testimony (albeit, false) that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11 so that they could convince Americans that we needed to invade Iraq. Sad to say, that several men were killed by Americans in these prisons, and many, many have committed suicide rather than live like animals for years for nothing that they have ever been done. For some, their only crime is to be able to spill the beans the crimes that the prisons are committing in the name of Americans.

a
akirakato
Sep 11, 2012

This 2007 documentary film tells you that the US government (Vice President Dick Cheney and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in particular) abuse the government power in the case of the torture and killing of an innocent Afghani taxi driver named Dilawar as well as the cases of other detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.
Beware of some stunning and disgusting scenes at the detention camp as well as the CIA's use of torture and their research into sensory deprivation.
All the abuses are against the standards of the Geneva Convention.

n
NanaPat
Jan 19, 2011

Printed on the cover is a comment by A.O. Scott from the New York Times . It reads :
"Powerful! It will stand as an important historical record."
Might I add : and hopefully a lesson .

The grit of this film includes the fact that as human beings we are at base animals and given power over others, without clear restrictions, we revert to behaviour of mental savagery and physical brutality that should only exhist in the wild.

r
RipRogers
Jun 27, 2010

Torture. That's what this docu is about. Ghastly. We did that!?

e
edul
Apr 18, 2010

This documentary was shocking when it came out but by now much of it seems like old news.

j
joseph
Jan 25, 2009

Good - Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) 106 min. This picure won Best Documentary in the 2008 Oscars. This film traces the horrific abuse of an Afgani citizen suspected of being a terrorist and held by American forces in Afghanistan. Then it demonstrates the in-humane treatment of detainees in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay by the U.S.; the same people fighting for freedoms and rights. It is not for the faint of heart - graphic images of torture are depicted in this film to really make you understand the gravity of the situation. No wonder President Obama's first act was to abolish the interrogation practices at Guantanamo Bay. All I kept saying to myself as I was watching this picture was "May God have mercy on our souls". To think that one of the reasons for the American Revolution was to fight the king's idict of detaining suspected criminals against the throne without a hearing and here they are - doing exactly the same thing. I kept thinking of Nazi Germany - haven't any of these young soldiers learned anything from the atrocities laid on innocent Jewish civilians? Apparently not. Again, tough movie to watch but something you need to be aware of. When Obama mentioned Guantanomo Bay, it really didn't mean much - it did after
"witnessing" the carnage inflicted on our fellow man; guilty or innocent..

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