a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

"Taxi to the Dark Side" wins Oscar

Posted by Thomas Nephew on February 25th, 2008

Ha! “Taxi to the Dark Side” won the Oscar award for best documentary feature. I saw the film last week at a National Archives screening; it is an excellent, thorough, unflinching look at the dark side this administration has turned our country towards.

And we have done better, in more dire circumstances. In accepting the award, director Alex Dibney dedicated the film to Dilawar, the young man who died at American hands in custody in Bagram, but also his father, noting that “My father, a navy interrogator … urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law.” As the credits roll at the end of the film, Dibney added a shot of his father saying so. I remember a Washington Post article from last fall where veterans of a World War II interrogation team based in the District made similar remarks.

Naturally, the award was presented to weirdly inappropriate triumphal music, and a clip of Afghans gazing skyward in awe as B-52s circle overhead. But whatever. On a final note: hey, nice going, Discovery Channel! How does it feel to be the a$$h0les who unloaded a documentary for “controversial content” just before it won an Oscar?

NOTES: “noted” — Melbourne Sun, “It’s an Oscar for Eva” (Eva Orner was the documentary’s producer); “weirdly inappropriate” — ThinkProgress has the video of the award presentation and accompanying clip; “article” — “Fort Hunt’s Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII,” Petula Dvorak, 10/6/07: “We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture.

2 Responses to “"Taxi to the Dark Side" wins Oscar”

  1. Nell Says:

    Colbert had a clip of Alex Gibney’s speech last night.

  2. Thomas Nephew Says:

    I had a look; nice speech, good of Colbert to put it up.
    For me, the documentary succeeded because it put a lot together in one place. I’ve apparently followed this stuff closely enough that little of it was news to me, and I doubt any of it will be news to you.
    Seeing the soldiers involved put it on a different level than reading about it, though. Scapegoats isn’t quite the right word, but they were sacrificed too; not their lives, like Dilawar, but their lives, as in derailed and damaged. It was news to me that Col. Wood, by contrast, is now teaching interrogation at an Army military intelligence school; Rumsfeld’s probably golfing somewhere.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> -- (comment rules)