Eish!!: South Africa produces another Oscar

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South Africa produces another Oscar

Once again a South African has had a hand in producing an Academy award-winning film. 'Taxi to the dark side' won the 'Best documentary feature' Oscar last night. Directed and produced by Alex Gibney, and the executive producer was South African (and Capetonian) Don Edkins.

The doccie was part of the Why Democracy initiative, of which Don Edkins and his company Steps for the future were intimately involved.

"Over one hundred prisoners have died in suspicious circumstances in U.S. custody during the "war on terror". Taxi to the Dark Side takes an in-depth look at one case: an Afghan taxi driver called Dilawar who was considered an honest and kind man by the people of his rustic village. So when he was detained by the U.S military one afternoon, after picking up three passengers, denizens wondered why this man was randomly chosen to be held in prison, and, especially, without trial? Five days after his arrest Dilawar died in his Bagram prison cell. His death came within a week of another death of a detainee at Bagram. The conclusion, with autopsy evidence, was that the former taxi driver and the detainee who passed away before him, had died due to sustained injuries inflicted at the prison by U.S. soldiers. The documentary, by award-winning producer Alex Gibney, carefully develops the last weeks of Dilawar’s life and shows how decisions taken at the pinnacle of power in the Bush Administration led directly to Dilawar’s brutal death. The film documents how Rumsfeld, together with the White House legal team, were able to convince Congress to approve the use of torture against prisoners of war. Taxi to the Dark Side is the definitive exploration of the introduction of torture as an interrogation technique in U.S. facilities, and the role played by key figures of the Bush Administration in the process." (Taken from the Why Democracy website)

Check out the trailer below. I actually had a sneak peek about 18 months ago. It's controversial and hard hitting.

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