Movie Review: Taxi to the Dark Side
Taxi to the dark side is a movie by Alex Gibney in which he seems to want to present a rare insight into the lawlessness that prevailed during the Bush administration (Plonsky, Begg and Brand). Alex Gibney attempts to present the viewer with a picture of how war time conditions in Afghanistan gave birth to some of the most horrifying heights of cruelty and brutality. Alex Gibney shows the viewers a story of an Afghan taxi driver whose name is Dilawar.
Alex Gibney shows how Dilawar was brutally beaten up by American soldiers at the Bagram Air Base and how they treated him with such a degree of mercilessness that he died out of injuries inflicted from the beating.
We see that for some reason, the murder of the taxi driver Dilawar becomes a story that is echoed far and wide and how the act of brutality is denounced by the public for the breaching of the Geneva Convention that the murder of Dilawar reflects.
Alex Gibney does an excellent job of showing to the audience how laws are made in the United States and then dodged in the corridors of law and justice and the characters that are involved in this evasion of law and order.
It is clear to see that the director Alex Gibney is fascinated by the degree of corruption that has taken root in the character of a large number of the American people. In order to do so, Alex Gibney appears to have used the cruelties of torture as the primary instrument to stress his point. What comes as most touching is the fact that Alex Gibney has sprinkled the movie with actual images and sequences from the actual series of events and has used interviews with a considerable degree of craft to highlight the damage that was caused as a result of the torture to the prisoners from Bagram and the people who were in Bagram at one time or the other during these events. The interviews are perhaps the jewel in the crown for Alex Gibney’s Taxi to the Dark Side since they present first person accounts of events that took lives. The mere fact that a taxi driver was killed in this way in reality keeps sending chills down the audiences’ spine every step of the way as the movie progresses. It is well known that the American media and the Bush administration chose to regard the incident as one which occurred merely because of a few unexpected bad eggs in the region, but after watching Alex Gibney’s movie, it is apparent that Alex Gibney has tried to show the incident through a much different perspective and has showed it to be a significant part of the bigger picture.
The movie concludes by showing a taxi driving in Washington and even though the scenes of the taxi driving innocently in the streets of Washington appears to have no relation with Dilawar’s taxi in Bagram, Alex Gibney very successfully leaves the audience lost in thought and wondering about the numerous impediments and complications that would have risen had an incident such as Dilawar’s happened within the United States territory or to a person who was a US citizen.
Taxi to the Dark Side. Dir. Alex Gibney. Perf. Karyn Plonsky, et al. 2007.
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