Annal: 2008 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature

Results of the Academy Award® in the year 2008.

Film:Taxi to the Dark Side

Taxi to the Dark Side

Alex Gibney

Taxi to the Dark Side is a gripping investigation into the reckless abuse of power by the Bush Administration. By probing the homicide of an innocent taxi driver at the Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, the film exposes a worldwide policy of detention and interrogation that condones torture and the abrogation of human rights. This disturbing and often brutal film is the most incisive examination to date of the Bush Administration’s willingness, in its prosecution of the “war on terror,” to undermine the essence of the rule of law. The film asks and answers a key question: what happens when a few men use the wartime powers of the executive to undermine the very principles on which the United States was founded.

Incorporating rare and never-before-seen images from inside the Bagram, Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay prisons, and interviews with former government officials such as John Yoo, Alberto Mora and Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, interrogators, prison guards,…[more]

Film:No End in Sight

No End in Sight

Charles Ferguson

The first film of its kind to chronicle the reasons behind Iraq’s descent into guerilla war, warlord rule, criminality and anarchy, No End In Sight is a jaw-dropping, insider’s tale of wholesale incompetence, recklessness and venality. Based on over 200 hours of footage, the film provides a candid retelling of the events following the fall of Baghdad in 2003 by high ranking officials such as former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Ambassador Barbara Bodine (in charge of Baghdad during the Spring of 2003), Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff to Colin Powell, and General Jay Garner (in charge of the occupation of Iraq through May 2003) as well as Iraqi civilians, American soldiers, and prominent analysts. No End In Sight examines the manner in which the principal errors of U.S. policy—the use of insufficient troop levels, allowing the looting of Baghdad, the purging of professionals from the Iraqi government, and the disbanding of the Iraqi military—largely created the insurgency…[more]

Film:Operation Homecoming

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience

Richard E. Robbins

This pioneering film illuminates the extraordinary experiences of American servicemen and women through their own powerful stories. Based on the acclaimed NEA-sponsored book of the same name, this eloquent and moving (Entertainment Weekly) film offers a profound look at the lives of those serving in America s armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Distinguished actors like Robert Duvall, Beau Bridges and Aaron Eckhart give voice to the poems, stories, essays, letters, and journal entries of people on the frontlines. Weaving these dramatic readings with interviews with their authors, Operation Homecoming transforms the written word into a living, breathing look at the human side of America s current military conflicts. An honest and intensely personal look at war through firsthand accounts, this groundbreaking documentary adds depth to individual experiences by looking at them within the context of the long and venerable tradition of war writing. By turns poetic, comic, and chilling (Variety), this film gives voice to those heroes who have served and wish to share their experiences with the world.

Film:Sicko

Sicko

Michael Moore

Following on the heels of his Palm d’Or winning Fahrenheit 9/11 and his Oscar winning film Bowling for Columbine, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore’s new documentary sets out to investigate the American healthcare system. Sticking to his tried-and-true one-man approach, Moore sheds light on the complicated medical affairs of individuals and local communities.

Film:War Dance

War Dance

Sean Fine, Andrea Nix

Set in Northern Uganda, a country ravaged by more than two decades of civil war, War Dance tells the story of Dominic, Rose, and Nancy, three children whose families have been torn apart, their homes destroyed, and who currently reside in a displaced persons camp n Patongo. When they are invited to compete in an annual music and dance festival, their historic journey to their nation’s capital is also an opportunity to regain a part of their childhood and to taste victory for the first time in their lives.

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