No Comment — February 25, 2008, 7:58 am

Oscar for ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’


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.

Single Page

More from Scott Horton:

Context, No Comment August 28, 2015, 12:16 pm

Beltway Secrecy

In five easy lessons

From the April 2015 issue

Company Men

Torture, treachery, and the CIA

Six Questions October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm

The APA Grapples with Its Torture Demons: Six Questions for Nathaniel Raymond

Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada



October 2015

Lives by Omission

Lifting as We Climb

Cattle Calls

Getting Jobbed

view Table Content


“One of the peculiar things about economic inequality is that the people who are most articulate about it are not poor, while the poor themselves have said little, at least in print, about their situation.”
Photograph © Reuters/Brendan McDermid
“It would be nice to get through this review without recourse to the term ‘writer’s writer.’ The thing is, in the case of Joy Williams, I have seen the cliché made flesh.”
Illustration by Steven Dana
“Miniatures originated in Persia and were brought to the Indian subcontinent when the Mughals conquered it in the sixteenth century. They could take on almost any subject: landscapes or portraits; stories of love, war, or play.”
Painting by by Imran Qureshi.
“The business of being a country veterinarian is increasingly precarious. The heartland has been emptying of large-animal vets for at least two decades, as agribusiness changed the employment picture and people left the region.”
Photograph by Lance Rosenfield
“Rosie and her husband had burned through their small savings in the first few months after she lost her job. Now their family of five relied on his minimum-wage paychecks, plus Rosie’s unemployment and food stamps, which, combined, brought them to around $2,000 per month, just above the poverty line.”
Illustrations by Taylor Callery

Percentage of Americans who can correctly name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court:


Peak happiness was observed at a per capita GDP of $36,000.

Doctors Without Borders withdrew from the Afghan city of Kunduz after a U.S.-led airstrike destroyed one of the organization’s hospitals, killing 22 people.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!


Subways Are for Sleeping


“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”

Subscribe Today