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House of Pain

House of Pain

Presidential hopeful and all-around sleaze bucket Mitt Romney’s desperate equivocating over the use of waterboarding during this season’s Republican YouTube debate nearly left the man a frothing mess. That’s because there really isn’t any room for equivocation: torture is torture, no matter how much the administration and other assorted “defenders of freedom” try to make excuses or strict, revisionist definitions. In his simultaneously harrowing and soberly parsed new documentary, Alex Gibney (Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room) trots out endless footage of disgraced Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld smugly invalidating queries into American torture of Muslims at Guantanamo Bay and George Bush musing into what really constitutes torture, after all.

Gibney knows what constitutes torture, and he makes it abundantly clear in Taxi to the Dark Side, which uses as its springboard the true story of Dilawar, a 22-year-old Afghani cab driver who was murdered by his American captors in a Bagram prison, his death occurring after extended, painful bouts of psychological and physical torment. Click here to read the rest of Michael Koresky’s review of Taxi to the Dark Side.

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