- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 46 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: September 30, 2008
- Originally Released: 2007
- Label: Velocity / Thinkfilm
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.78
- Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English
- Subtitles - English SDH, Spanish
- Additional Release Material:
- Audio Commentary: Alex Gibney, Director
- Interviews: Extended
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Academy Awards 2007 -
Best Documentary Feature
Los Angeles Times - 01/18/2008
"Gibney is a scrupulous director, and TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE is filled with detailed factual information."
New York Times - 01/18/2008
"If recent American history is ever going to be discussed with the necessary clarity and ethical rigor, this film will be essential."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/25/2008
"[Gibney] achieves maximum force with the direct testimony of many involved in Dilawar's life and death..." -- Grade: A-
Empire - 06/01/2008
5 stars out of 5 -- "[Gibney] elicits a string of candid interviews from American servicemen, and yet his enquiry aims higher, scaling the chain of command before laying the blame on the uppermost echelons of the US administration."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2008
"The film's crowning irony is to establish that not only is torture morally repugnant and contrary to all the ideal the US is supposed to stand for -- it's also highly inefficient as a means of eliciting information."
Alex Gibney's TAXI FROM THE DARK SIDE is a perpetually shocking documentary about the Bush administration's use of torture when dealing with political prisoners, with a particular focus on those captured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The title of Gibney's movie is derived from the treatment meted out to an Afghani taxi driver named Dilawar, who was mistakenly fingered as a terrorist, then killed during a torture session conducted by American troops. Despite the title, Dilawar's case is just a small part in Gibney's jigsaw, as the director uses excruciating and comprehensive details surrounding the taxi driver's death as a starting point in his search for the people who have permitted such incidents to occur. Gut-wrenching and fully uncensored pictures from Abu-Ghraib feature alongside interviews with military personnel (some of whom tortured Dilawar) as Gibney's search slowly heads into the upper echelons of the military and, ultimately, into the Bush regime itself.
TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE is a powerful, well-executed piece of filmmaking. Gibney's skills as a director come to the fore as he manages to pull some surprisingly candid revelations from his subjects, while his choice of newsreel clips featuring the likes of Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld are extremely well chosen. Perhaps the most eye-opening scenes come from a press trip to the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, where Gibney and others are given a tour of the facilities, including the site gift shop, where gallows humor is stretched to breaking point with the sale of souvenir t-shirts bearing the legend Behavior Modification Instructor. The film concludes with Gibney pulling the focus back to Dilawar once again, highlighting the futility of his death as a number of commentators show how torture isn't, and never has been, an effective method for extracting information from people.
Description by Image Entertainment:
Oscar®-nominated director Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) investigates the torture and killing of an innocent Afghani taxi driver in this gripping probe into reckless abuses of government power. Disturbing and incisive, the Academy Award®-winner Taxi To The Dark Side incorporates rare and never-before-seen images from inside the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan and Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons into its exposure of the Bush administration's "global war on terror." This stunningly crafted narrative demonstrates how this one man's life and death symbolizes the erosion of our civil rights and how what it means to be an American has changed forever.