SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
No Comment readers recently saw my interview with Alex Gibney, the producer of “Taxi to the Dark Side.” Last night, Alex and his team got the best documentary Oscar. (Disclosure: I appear in “Taxi” and had many discussions with Alex and his crew about shaping it.) Here’s a wire report:
An investigation into the death later found Dilawar had been repeatedly kicked and punched and was chained to the ceiling of his cell for days. Gibney, who also produced hit documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room”, said in his acceptance speech that his wife had wanted him to make a romantic comedy.
“But honestly after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and extraordinary rendition that simply wasn’t possible,” the film-maker said before dedicating the film to Dilawar, and his own father.
“This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver and my father a Navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury at what was being done to the rule of law,” said Gibney.
“Let’s hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and go back to the light,” he said.
Discovery originally took broadcast rights to the documentary, and then backed out, saying it was “too controversial.” Actually there is nothing “controversial” about the film. It is a compelling, honest account of something that the Bush Administration fervently hopes that Americans learn nothing. Discovery evidenced supreme cowardice. I was halfway expecting them to take a lambasting from the Oscar podium, but the “Taxi” team is far too classy for that.
The film rights were flipped to HBO. Let’s hope HBO gets it out and on the air quickly.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Minimum number of cats fitted with high-tech listening equipment in a 1967 CIA project:
Zoologists suggested that apes and humans share an ancestor who laughed.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”