A year from now, the presidency of George W. Bush will end, but the consequences of Mr. Bush's policies and the arguments about them are likely to be with us for a long time. As next Jan. 20 draws near, there is an evident temptation, among many journalists as well as politicians seeking to replace Mr. Bush, to close the book and move ahead, an impulse that makes the existence of documentaries like Alex Gibney's "Taxi to the Dark Side" all the more vital. If recent American history is ever going to be discussed with the necessary clarity and ethical rigor, this film will be essential. Mr. Gibney directed "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room" and was an executive producer of Charles Ferguson's "No End in Sight," films that show the same combination of investigative thoroughness and moral indignation that animates "Taxi." The germ of this documentary's story is the case of Dilawar, a taxi driver who was detained in Afghanistan in 2002 and who died in American custody at the prison in Bagram a few months later.
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