Taxi to the Dark Side
In 2005's Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, documentarian Alex Gibney accomplished a mightily impressive feat---making the story of energy company Enron's bankruptcy and accounting fraud surprisingly comprehensible and interesting. With his latest doc, the Oscar-winning Taxi to the Dark Side, Gibney employs the same thoroughness to examine another from-the-headlines topic: the post-9/11 use of torture by the CIA and US forces to interrogate suspected terrorists.The film centres around the story of Dilawar, a taxi driver who was wrongfully imprisoned as a potential terrorist in a US-run facility in Afghanistan, and subsequently died there after sustaining multiple leg beatings. Skillful Gibney uses Dilawar's story as the hook for a more far-reaching treatise---one that also visits Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, and takes to task the current US anti-terrorism measures, governed by a mess of hazy regulations that permit lengthy imprisonment without proper trials and dignity-denying interrogation techniques. As one talking head puts it, speaking of Dilawar: "There's a lot of other people out there who are gonna run into this system unless it's fixed. And you only need one to...remind yourself of what it's capable of."