Certain to inspire both outrage and sorrow, Alex Gibney's harrowing documentary -- about the torture and abuse of suspected terrorists in U.S. military prisons -- ranks among recent cinema's more excoriating moral indictments.
Taxi to the Dark Side joins a growing list of outspoken documentaries that question the rationale and conduct of America's presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our willingness to destroy freedom in order to save it.
As our society searches its conscience for the correct balance between preserving American lives and upholding American values, Gibney offers a crucial perspective to counterbalance the influence of eye-for-an-eye gut instinct.
The most extraordinary thing about the grim Best Documentary Academy Award nominee Taxi to the Dark Side is how straightforward its interviewees are about the military prisoner they collectively murdered in Afghanistan in 2002.
Taxi to the Dark Side adds something new to our awareness -- interviews with soldiers who served as interrogators in Afghanistan, and in Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison, and who, in some cases, served prison terms themselves.
Without cheapening the suffering of American or Afghan, the film retrieves the torture issue from the realm of the abstract and gives the plain facts of this world right now. As long as we still care about people and power, they will matter.
Alex Gibney's Taxi to the Dark Side is the documentary that many of us have prayed for, the one that could break through even to people who relish the torture set pieces on 24 and will hear no evil about the War on Terror.
[Director] Gibney has crafted more than just an important document of systemic abuse -- he's stripped the rhetoric from official doublespeak to expose a callous disregard for not only the Geneva Conventions but the vision of the Founding Fathers.
It's about what we have done (or at least allowed to be done in our name), why we should be ashamed and angry, and whether we have the honor and decency to stop it. If America still has a soul, Alex Gibney is trying to save it.