HBO hitches ride to "Dark Side" with documentary

Fri Feb 22, 2008 8:47am EST

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - HBO has acquired Alex Gibney's Oscar-nominated documentary "Taxi to the Dark Side," which probes the death of an innocent taxi driver at the hands of U.S. interrogators in Afghanistan.

The move comes two weeks after Gibney accused Discovery Communications, which bought the rights to the film in June, of dropping it from the schedule because it was deemed "too controversial" by the cable network's management team.

"Taxi" will premiere uncut on HBO in September. Discovery will retain the basic-cable rights, and said Thursday that it plans to air it -- next year.

Gibney, whose credits also include the Oscar-nominated documentary "Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room," said he "feels great" about the prospect of HBO airing the documentary during the final stage of the presidential campaign.

"This is a vital issue for the campaign," he said. "Retaining the national character while we fight the war on terror is an issue every true candidate has to wrestle with."

Gibney took on the project at the urging of his ailing father, a former Navy interrogator who was infuriated by the stories of torture practices employed by the U.S. military. It was released theatrically by ThinkFilm in January.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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