Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Invisible War

The Invisible War (2012)

Directed by Kirby Dick

Written by Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering and Douglas Blush

Stars: Kirby Dick, Amy Ziering, Kori Cioca, Trina McDonald, Lieutenant Ariana Klay, Lieutenant Elle Helmer, Michael Matthews, Jessica Hinves, Hannah Sewell and Sergeant Myla Haider

Usually it is very hard to see a documentary in a theater unless you are Morgan Spurlock or Michael Moore. By the time that the Academy Awards come around, the only time you can see the documentaries on either on DVD or on Hulu. Thankfully most of the nominees for Best Documentary including this one are available on DVD. People say that the movie is groundbreaking, but it has been an open secret for years.

After viewing Kirby Dick's last documentary, Outrage, he has a real sense of rising the alarm on subjects that are swept under the rug like closeted politicians embroiled in sex scandals. The subject of The Invisible War sheds light on the rampant cases of sexual assaults in the United States military. The documetaritarians follows the stories of service men and women that were victims of sexual assaults. At least, twenty-fives individuals talked about their horrific experiences of being raped, be investigated by supervisors for submitting a false report and having their cases thrown out on flimsy technicalities.

Over the years, reports of sexual assaults did get national attention when a soldier press charges on their assailants and nothing is done about it. While watching the movie, I remember an incident that happened when I was in separations. Their was a male sailor visiting separations for a little bit and I heard that the next day that him and another male sailor has some sort of sexual contact happened after taps. Nothing was said about the incident after that.

Nobody can imagine how these women and men can move live on with that the thought their assilant can violtae them and get a slap on the wrist. Stated eariler, the subject on sexual assaults on miliutary is nothing new. Kirby Dick got more in depth about how the lives the victims have changed when they were raped and the aftermath.

It seems that something is lost in translation between what happens in the civilian world towards rape and what happens in a military base when a rape occurs. It boggles the mind the chain of command can be flippant about not investigation claims of rape that would disrupt morale of their units, because they don't want to feel like they are a bad commander. Either way, not doing anything about it would perpetuate more this behavior if the assailant know that they could get away from it. Somebody needs to held accountable for the actions of the people that are under your command.

Kudos to the brave men and women who let their voices be heard and try to make a change to system that clearly favors the assailant rather than victim. The Department of Defense needs to opens their to see that their thousands upon thousand of our military personnel that are attacked every year. Something needs to be done to bring justice to the victims that will ever physical and mental scars of their ordeal for the rest of their lives.

My Rating


  1. Good review Branden. It's a hard-hitting and very powerful documentary that is still clear in my mind today, three months after seeing it.

    1. It's weird that the subject has been talked about, but in depth like in the doc. These women and man were severely traumatized about their attacks. I know that there are emotional scars, but physically with one woman needing jaw surgery, another woman having trouble walking. It's heartbreaking.