One of only two films I got the chance to see at the excellent Ashland Film Festival. (Outsourced being the other.) Even though I'm a fan of documentaries, I usually skip them in the theater, I absorb them better at home. And since so many of them are about difficult issues, I don't feel like paying full price to get depressed. This was a different situation, after Taxi to the Dark Side won an Oscar as best documentary, I felt I must see it as soon as possible.
Filmmaker Alex Gibney is quickly proving himself to be one of the best documentary directors around, after this and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. His next film Gonzo, about the life of Hunter S. Thompson, looks very entertaining, and takes on a much lighter subject, while also tackling some political issues.
I won't write a long review for this, because if I start writing too much, I'll probably get into some kind of political diatribe that'll leave us all upset. Taxi to the Dark Side covers in great detail the U.S.'s involvement in torture during the Iraq war. From all the photos we're all familiar with from Guantanamo Bay, to Bush's administration changing our countries torture policies. They talk to former prisoners who experienced the torture, they talk to the guys that administered the torture, all the way up to those that developed the methods used. I don't think they left a stone unturned about this issue.
After I felt sick to belong to the human race, and even worse to be a citizen of a country that believes these policies are just. These practices must stop, I believe the film proves that torture does not work. There are more effective ways to gain the necessary information, and not break the laws of the Constitution and Geneva Convention in the process. Taxi to the Dark Side, is extremely well made and informative; ultimately it is not a pleasant experience, but it is a must see. - Grade: B+