We torture. You knew that. Earlier this week, CIA Director General General Michael Hayden testified, “Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees” (the interrogations of two of the subjects were recorded but destroyed). Another drip down the wall. Alex Gibney’s “Taxi to the Dark Side” (which is distributed by a Canadian-held company) uses the case of an Afghani taxi driver who disappeared to suggest the larger moral failings of our supposed anti-terror policy. A clip of Vice President Cheney saying that we must “work the dark side, spend time in the shadows, use any means at our disposal” may even be the least chilling thing in this dark litany. There’s steely irony in calling “Taxi to the Dark Side” essential; it’s essential, fluent, understated, enraged, engaged filmmaking, but it is essential as well because of the responsibility abdicated by government, both in the executive branch and the Democratic majority that enables crimes like these, the responsibility to question those actions that defeat, defy and undermine the foundations of our country. So sad that that’s true. Gibney’s indignant, measured work, as in “Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room,” which he directed, and Charles Ferguson’s “No End in Sight,” which he supervised as an executive producer, stings. Do principles count any longer? 106m. (Ray Pride)
“Taxi to the Dark Side” opens Friday at the Music Box.