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Taxi to the Dark Side [DVD]

21 customer reviews

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Taxi to the Dark Side [DVD] + Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room [DVD] + Inside Job [DVD] [2011]
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Product details

  • Actors: Alex Gibney, Brian Keith Allen, Moazzam Begg, Christopher Beiring, Willie Brand
  • Directors: Alex Gibney
  • Writers: Alex Gibney
  • Producers: Alex Gibney, Blair Foster, Don Edkins, Don Glascoff, Eva Orner
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Revolver Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 30 Jun. 2008
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000YDAJLS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,930 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

From the director of 'Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room' comes this in-depth look at the mistreatment prisoners of the US in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, focusing on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan, who was tortured and killed in 2002. The film uses never-before-seen footage, interviews with leading politicians and activists and comments from soldiers who were there. Taxi To The Dark Side is a unique ride into the murky world of terrorism and the US response post 9/11 to dealing with the threat

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 52 people found the following review helpful By James Denselow on 19 Nov. 2009
Format: DVD
Alex Gibney's powerful documentary is a must-see for those who doubt the moral bankruptcy of the early years of the `War on Terror'.

President Bush, the ultimate conviction politician, showed that his elongated time as a lame duck president with the lowest ratings in history have given him a chance to reflect on his contributions to the World. Talking to The Times onboard Air Force One the President bemoaned his image as a warmonger suggesting that "in retrospect I could have used a different tone, a different rhetoric,". Yet it is the reality of his policies, not his rhetoric, which will be his most enduring legacy.

Nowhere is this more disturbing than the US descent into barbarism. Extraordinary rendition, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Water boarding - the last 7 years have added a new lexicon of vocabulary that describes how `fighting terror' has warped America's moral compass. Alex Gibney's documentary of this descent is a well balanced and researched indictment of the failure of the Bush administration's `command responsibility' and its tragic consequences `on the ground'.
Much like the Winter Soldiers who spoke out against Vietnam, `Taxi to the Dark Side' includes the voices of those who patriotism cannot be questioned, the soldiers themselves. The documentary's underlying message is that the abuses that have emerged over the years are not simply the work of `bad apples' but rather are the product of the policies Dick Cheney outlined five days after 9/11: "We also have to work, though, sort of the dark side, if you will. We've got to spend time in the shadows in the intelligence world.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By C. Emmins on 15 Jan. 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
It takes a wise head to create a balanced view over an emotive subject - and Alex Gibney has shown that he is more than up to the task with this documentary film.

The lack of compassion shown towards fellow human beings is astounding, but Gibney does not demand the heads of the direct perpetrators. He steers a course which allows the audience to an enlightened position where it is obvious who the real 'villains' are - not the order taking soldiers that have been brutalised and desensitised by their training and the patriotic rhetoric of a wounded giant, but rather the senior political figures that stay behind their multi-levels of protection and wealth, whilst steering lesser mortals along a path of extreme immorality and depravity.

Such films as this are an essential part of creating empathy across cultural divides.

Quite simply, this is brilliant film making.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Oli on 25 April 2008
Format: DVD
Having been recommended this on BBC iPlayer a few weeks ago, I wasn't that optimistic about this, yet another 'war on terror' documentary. However, this film is superb, offering a diverse array of interviews and examples to illustrate how far we have descended from the moral high ground in the ongoing war on terrorism. As someone who is generally supportive of the ongoing military campaign in Afghanistan, I can say this film is no Michael Moore-style Bush-bash, but a rounded and thoroughly disturbing insight into the practical implications of assymetric warfare. Indeed, whilst it is easy to condemn torture under any circumstances, it is hard not to empathise with the lowly soldiers, deserted by their superiors, having followed ambiguous orders to get information from detainees. Thoroughly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 11 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
Having seen "Taxi to the Dark Side" nearly two months ago at a private screening in midtown Manhattan (New York, NY USA), my mind is still reeling from the harsh, brutal images of torture committed by United States soldiers against suspected terrorists and irregulars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This may be the most important documentary film on the "War on Terror", and while it is a liberal polemic film, it does an effective job of arguing its case by showing its graphic images, instead of having someone like filmmaker Michael Moore seen onscreen ranting and raving. The central saga which runs through the nearly two-hour long film is the last taxi ride of a young Afghan taxi driver, Dilawar, an innocent bystander who was picked up by American troops, tortured, and died from his severe injuries at the American detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan.

"Taxi to the Dark Side" deserves the ample recognition it has earned, and may be remembered as a superb documentary film in the tradition of Edward R. Murrow's "Harvest of Shame". But it isn't perfect for the following reasons. First it accepts as gospel truth, the fact that most of those being held by American soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq and Cuba are as innocent as Dilawar was. Second it lacks more insightful analysis from the likes of noted military defense attorney Eugene Fidell, who represented my cousin, former U. S. Army chaplain James Yee (Much to my amazement, Yee's filmed testimony was not included at all in the final cut of this film.). Will "Taxi to the Dark Side" change the opinions of many? Hopefully it will force those who've seen it to ask serious, probing questions about inhumane treatment of prisoners by some American soldiers, and perhaps persuade them to convince the Federal political leadership in Washington, D. C. to act more aggressively to avert similar instances of prisoner mistreatment in the future.
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