Velocity / Thinkfilm
MSRP: $27.98
RUNNING TIME: 107 Minutes
- That would break the rules of the game, wouldn’t it?


The Pitch

America hates Afghani taxi driver.

The place has sure gone to shit since The Kite Runner left town. That and all the heroin.

The Humans

Alex Gibney, Alberto Mora, John Yoo, Scott Horton and Alfred McCoy

The Nutshell

In 2002, the American occupation forces set up an interrogation center at the Bagram Air Force base in Afghanistan. One day they captured an Afghani taxi driver named Dilawar. Five days later, Dilawar was found dead. What Alex Gibney has done is to compose a frightening look at the new American torture tactics of the 21st century. This time, they don’t involve naked dudes in a pyramid. We saved that shit for Iraq.

The Lowdown

Re-enactments of the military proceedings, testimony and capture footage are used to create the tale of Dilawar’s final days at the Bagram Air Force Base. But, the film isn’t a condemnation of the military. It gives everyone from the soldiers to the politicians to the prisoners and the military leaders a chance to speak about what happened. When poor training meets the demand to get information at any cost, atrocities happen. Yet, Gibney breaks away from this to keep examining Dilawar with a precise focus.

I hate the webcam porn. Always pixellated.

The fog of ambiguity gets attention. The decision to engage in Dark Side tactics that bely the Constitution and the Geneva Constitution cast into doubt the purpose of the War on Terror. What makes it more confusing is how the parties at play allow it to continue. They’ll say that war and torture is bad, but it must happen. Sure, but there needs to be rules of engagement. When Gibney follows up on such lines of though, the military seems confused. It’s pretty damning to see privates to veterans unable to comprehend what constitutes torture.

America’s Greatest Hits: 2000-2008

The thing about the subject material is that there’s always room to question it. Only nine percent of detainees are interrrogated in such a matter. The number has been increasingly dwindling. But, you can contrast and compare that against the number of Allies beheaded, abducted and maimed by enemy insurgents on a daily basis. Turning the focus on the occupied forces doesn’t make the bleeding hearts feel too hot, but it’s something that was missing from this film.

The black guy did it.

Honestly, I expect to see some resistance to the film. It’s been a hard time dealing with the world shitting on America for the meanderings of some fucks that are controlled by an oliogarchy. But, take the film for what it is. A historical document that dares to interpret events that should never be forgotten.

Achievement Unlocked: Iraq Secured – 20 G 

The Package

The DVD provides for an interesting look at the War on Terror. Also included on the release are additional outtakes and interviews that didn’t make the main feature. Throw on some promotional interviews and you’ve got the full release. The A/V Quality is decent for a documentary. But, this isn’t something that’s going to rock your Plasma. I’d recommend the release.

8.5 out of 10