When: June 28, 2009 (Sun,.) 6:30
Where: Shogai gakushu Center (3 min walk from main (east) JR exit. As you exit, walk straight)
Amnesty International Japan Kamakura group
Contact: 0468-24-8683 (Clara Birnbaum)
Dec, 1 `02, Afghanistan – Taxi driver, Dilawar, carrying 3 passengers, would never see his family again. Stopped by US forces and taken to Bagram Air Base, he was held in extrajudicial detention and brutally beaten to make him confess to charges that, in the end, had been committed by someone else. He died 5 days later.
Centering on the case of Dilawar, Taxi to the Dark Side examines America`s policy (specifically that of the CIA) since 9/11, on torture and interrogation. Through news footage, photos, and interviews with top brass in the Bush administration, interrogators, lawyers, and even a former detainee, a story unfolds of extreme abuse and misuse of authority. It is a maze in which untrained soldiers, with little for guidance besides deliberately foggy directives written (if written) in clever legalese, are, nevertheless under severe pressure to produce clear results. The results are surreal, and the blame, when meted out, is restricted, predictably enough, to those at the bottom of the power scale. Meanwhile, detainees with stories like Dilawar`s, are lost and forgotten, because they don`t matter.
Thanks to the persistence of New York Times reporter, Carlotta Gall, Dilawar`s story could be pieced together, and then brought to us in this film. Taxi to the Dark Side is part of the Why Democracy? series, which consists of ten documentary films from around the world, questioning and examining contemporary democracy.
Considering that this issue has become open news in the corporate media (though it is hardly “news”) and also considering that those responsible will not be held accountable, this film is particularly timely.