taxi to the dark side
Tuesday 16 October
Screening on SBS Television Tuesday, 16 October at 8.30pm in the Why Democracy timeslot is Taxi to the Dark Side.
Over one hundred prisoners have died in suspicious circumstances in U.S. custody during the “war on terror”. Taxi to the Dark Side takes an in-depth look at one case: an Afghan taxi driver called Dilawar who was considered an honest and kind man by the people of his rustic village. So when he was detained by the U.S military one afternoon, after picking up three passengers, the villagers wondered why this man was randomly chosen to be held in prison, and, especially, without trial? Five days after his arrest, Dilawar died in his Bagram prison cell. His death came within a week of another death of a Bagram detainee. The conclusion, with autopsy evidence, was that the former taxi driver and the detainee died due to sustained injuries inflicted at the prison by U.S. soldiers.
The documentary, by award-winning producer Alex Gibney, carefully develops the last weeks of Dilawar’s life and shows how decisions taken at the pinnacle of power in the Bush Administration led directly to Dilawar’s brutal death. The film documents how the former Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld, together with the White House legal team, were able to convince Congress to approve the use of torture against prisoners of war. Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process.
*** NOTE: From Sunday 7 October, SBS Television will join forces with 25 other TV networks worldwide to screen a series of programs under the theme ‘Why Democracy?’ The films were commissioned globally and do not represent a solely European or Western point of view. The series has two purposes: to examine the real prospects for global democracy, the dominant idea of our time, and to debate a new style for this emerging democracy, which may not necessarily be based on Western ideals