Thursday, December 04, 2008

"Taxi to the Dark Side" (2007) - Movie Review

Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Darkside” is a brilliant documentary which as a medium conveying its points across works as effectively as “No End in Sight” the movie I mentioned in the best films of the 2007. It in a depth of detail documentaries sometimes fails to grab in the zeal of its agenda is methodical and most importantly clear as crystal. By the end of the film there arises a conscience in the way one conducts any one by their side. It is truly phenomenal film which winning its Oscar has got a deserved wide spread attention.

Yes it focuses on the torture techniques employed so easily and in a swift fashion riding on legal fence from the President of the United States and the commandeers of his team. Yes it blasts the insignificance and brutal insensitivity showed by the administration on putting its stamp to not alone tip over the top but dance around with the term of interrogation using the vicious minds in the worst possible situation. Yet it never takes a stand of arrogance into its face of argument. It gets the information as first hand we could get from the soldiers, to the army defense personnel and to the major political movers in DC and to the memo architects of these unfathomable writs.

In a step by step method the origin of these atrocities and the navigation from a generation is an awareness very much required for this generation. The amusement of being the hero, the good person stopping at the end of the road with upright stands has become a symbol of righteous existence. And US has strongly taken the stage because of its action in the holocaust. That has translated into the citizens and from them the coming up of soldiers. It is important to be on the good side, to be the people of good values who cannot be obliterated by the face of evil doers is been a global tag line for representing their country. The founding fathers have made sure of it and the principles of their laws are sometimes so astoundingly honest. But what has become of it in the reigning years of war after 9/11? “Taxi to the Dark Side” is a mirror on what the war has made it to be and more so about us with a devil inside.

There is a shocking piece of scene from the series “24” in the film showing the hero Jack Bauer played sincerely by Kiefer Sutherland on torturing a terrorist to get an information on a ticking time bomb. It gets compared to the attitude of the people and the advocacy of such a mentality to the soldiers on the front to get information. I have never felt so bad about myself after that. Before dismissing the fact that it is only a series for entertainment let me remind the seriousness the show takes itself. But it could not be blamed rather we should look at ourself on what the demand has been put in a show. The film constructively criticizes on the morality been tilted in the most fanatical adherence to make believe the doing the right thing that it has manifested the despiteful and hateful product of this whole process.

By this time we have witnessed so many films on this war and heard enough about the Bush administration. I felt a little bit bored when “Standard Operating Procedure” extended a very tiny bit than expected. With “Taxi to the Dark Side” it was enlightening through its analysis of the sad state this war has put on it and the irresponsible leadership acting with nothing but hate and result by any means necessary. Very much so the film “Lions for Lambs” delivered, this film shows in its technique in reality.

The film begins with an Afghan driver named Dilawar taking his passengers and never returning home. He was arrested as suspected terrorist and was taken to Bagram Air Base where he was tortured and killed. Till date despite the trials punishing the soldiers on various other charges has never found a trial for the killing of that driver. He turned out to be a very simple family man trying to ride cabs and feed his family. The film ends on that not forgetting as the army did on how his trip to the Bagram Air Base really triggered the much more wide approved torture taking its full face in Abu Ghraib.

After 9/11 being tough has basically has shifted towards getting ugly. The fundamental laws in US have amazed me in certain aspects on how much it tries to protect the innocent despite being used badly in many cases and still innocents being crucified. Despite the working of it, through the “Law and Order” series I have come to respect the constitution framers on the principles they wrote it upon. And how much it got erased by these actions of extracting intelligence? As the Enron executives, the administration fed the actions on the air with unknown guidance or rules for the soldiers who barely aware of the land they are in and the language the people spoke. They had no idea other than to follow orders and exist among their comrades to live. They dismissed their own morality having their trust on their superiors and believing their stand for being good. “Taxi to the Dark Side” more than this war echoes its title so truthful and so scary of ourself and what can be made of us unless we stand for the conscience we bore.

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