|Taxi to the Dark Side|
|Written by Frank Buffom|
|Monday, 17 March 2008|
US Torture Documentary Wins Academy Award
This year’s winner of the Oscar® for best documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” offers an opportunity. The feature-length study of the torture practices of the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay focuses on an innocent taxi driver in Afghanistan who was tortured and killed in 2002.
An Academy Award® to “Taxi” means that movie lovers across the US will see it simply because of the prize, and talk about it. Those of us familiar with the long US track record of teaching and using torture tactics can use this moment to educate those with shorter memories. Leslie Gill’s recent article Fighting the SOA and Public Amnesia frames the SOA Watch movement quite well, saying “the movement to close the School of the Americas reminds us that torture did not suddenly emerge in the U.S. military following the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Torture has been a consistent part of U.S. policy for decades.”
“Taxi” bringing torture as US policy into “polite” discussions of movies is a moment to which we should all be alert. When movie discussions turn to the Oscars, and to the documentary winner, we can point out that there is a school that actually published manuals on torture and coercion to teach our “allies,” and that the school is still in business, still funded by our tax dollars. We can let them know that if they want to speak out against torture, one clear way to do so is by speaking out against the ongoing operation of the SOA, an institution recognized by generations south of the US border as the training ground for oppressive force that has been the product of US policy for decades in this hemisphere.
View the trailer:
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written by James N. Reed, December 16, 2010