Friday, February 27, 2009

"Taxi to the Dark Side" at USF's Human Rights Film Festival

Last night, I attended the final night of The Human Rights Film Festival here at USF. I watched the Academy Award Winning documentary directed by Alex Gibney, Taxi to the Darkside. The film dealt with the murder of Dilwar, a young Afghan Taxi drive accused of helping to plan an attack on the U.S base. He is put into the prison in Bagram and is tortured with variety of torturing “methods” that will make him talk. Eventually, Dilwar dies within his prison cell. Throughout the film, we hear testimony from the men who tortured Dilwar and government officials who knew of the torture that was occurring in Bagram. The film did a great job of shedding light on the subject of torture. Though this wasn’t the first to die from the extreme torturing methods used and approved by the U.S. government. It did a great job shedding the light on such horrible acts. The testimonies of the soldiers that torutured Dilwar, made it that much more powerful. One of the surprising scenes in this film is the press tour of Guantanamo Bay. The soldiers made it seem as though Guantanamo Bay was a summer camp. The guide at one point says, that on Sunday they get ice cream and they even have half a basketball court.

The film definitely shed some light for on how serious the torturing of these prisoners (who may have nothing to do with any terrorist) really is and how Bush’s administration wiped their hands clean of any blood that was shed because of them. There was a large audience at the presentation of the film and audience was horrified by some of the scenes that were presented to them in the film. This film definitely had the audience and I very emotionally involved. This film definitely made me think about the torturing of ETA prisoners in Spain. Spain has denied that they have tortured anyone and that those that have been captured have lied about being tortured or inflicted the injuries themselves.

If you are interested about one of the most recent cases of torture in Spain here is a a link to an amnesty international article.


Anonymous said...

I also saw this film and I agree that it did a good job of showing the abuse and injustices that went on in the prisons. The way they described some things such as Dilwars legs being like pulp after beatings was hard to take in.

I want to know if you felt the same way as I did about the interviews being somewhat one sided? What I mean by that is the film had very little interviews with those not associated with the prison. Would you have liked to see more response from the family and friends of those in the prisons?

I really liked how you incorporated examples of Spain because it shows the audience that its not just in this war where injustice is happening.

Elisa said...

The part that of the movie I left remembering the rest of the day was when they described how they left Dilways legs. I was so disturbed and honestly it emotionally hit me hard.

Yes, I really would have liked to see more responses from the friends and family of the prisoners. I feel like I've never been able to see the response of those who are close to them. It could have added a more personal touch to the film and just allowed us to understand the effects that this situation was having on the families and friends.

Anonymous said...

Wish I could have seen this film, as I was only able to attend the interview portion of the presentation.