On Torture: Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side is a film written and directed by Alex Gibney, the Oscar-nominated director of Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room. It examines the controversial and sometimes brutal interrogation techniques used against some of the prisoners captured by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The film, which premiers Saturday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, takes as its starting point the story of an Afghan taxi driver known only as Dilawar, who died from injuries inflicted at a facility in Afghanistan called Bagram Air Base. The film then widens its focus to include evidence of mistreatment at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

U. S. officials have insisted that they neither torture prisoners nor send them to third countries that do. But many prisoners maintain that they were tortured, and some have described beatings, psychological abuse and sensory deprivation at the hands of U.S. personnel or those of allied countries.

The film uses interviews with soldiers, prison guards, former government officials and the families of captured prisoners, as well as other research, including information from a leaked report that described the military’s investigation into the deaths of two detainees at Bagram. Currently, the film is without distribution in the U. S. You can read more about this film in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Taxi to the Dark Side

CIA Approved Advanced Interrogration Techniques

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Ex-CIA Director Tenet Denies CIA Torture

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Into Great Silence: The Grande Chartreuse

Tucked away deep within the postcard-perfect French Alps, The Grande Chartreuse is considered to be one of the world’s most ascetic monasteries. In 1984, German filmmaker Philip Gröning wrote to the Carthusian order for permission to make a documentary about them. They said they would get back to him. Sixteen years later, they were ready. Gröning, without crew or artificial lighting, lived in the monks’ quarters for six months, filming their daily prayers, tasks, rituals and rare outdoor excursions. Critics have described Into Great Silence as a transcendent, closely observed film that seeks to embody a monastery, rather than simply depict one. It has no score, no voiceover and no archival footage. What remains is stunningly elemental: time, space and light. One of the most mesmerizing and poetic chronicles of spirituality ever created, dissolves the border between screen and audience with a total immersion into the hush of monastic life. More meditation than documentary, it is said to be a rare, transformative experience.


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