Kirby Dick (THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, OUTRAGE) is not new to tackling controversial political issues. His new film, THE INVISIBLE WAR, comes to South Lamar starting Friday. The film takes aim on a government-regulated establishment in America, but his topic is that of such a well kept secret it has dodged controversy for decades: 1 in 5 women that have served in the military were raped while on active duty. That number alone is staggering, egregious, and disgusting, but the film doesn’t stop there.
The main question THE INVISIBLE WAR tries to answer is why has this been hidden from the American people? By using first-hand accounts from rape victims and interviews with legal and military experts, the film figures out the reasons behind the cover-up while exposing another massive injustice taking place in the U.S. military. Most claims of rape reported are never fully investigated and are easily dismissed. There are a few factors behind this. The main one is that the military doesn’t have a legal system that mirrors that of U.S. civilians. The final decisions come from subjective commanders instead of objective judges and most of them don’t want controversy for the Armed Forces. They could also be a friend of the accused rapist or, even worse, the actual rapist.
This type of judicial system is inherently flawed and has caused over 95% of accused rapists in the military to never see jail time and the overwhelming majority are never charged for their crime at all. Multiple times the military wants to put such a blind eye to the situation that they accuse a woman reporting the rape of making a false claim. Just hearing the harsh punishment that comes with being convicted of reporting a false claim of rape causes many women to drop their case immediately.
The filmmakers use these types of revelations along with eye-opening, government-approved, statistics to make a compelling case. THE INVISIBLE WAR gives many human faces to the issue, most forever emotionally shattered by what happened to them by the men of the military, both in the action of rape and the inaction of justice. They don’t stop there, though. By also using the objective data alongside the poignant testimonies of the victims the film moves you to tears and anger while making an empirical case that is beyond any type of fact-based argument.
One of the best and most important documentaries in recent years THE INVISIBLE WAR is a film that needs to be seen about stories that should have already been told. Don’t miss it. (R.J. LaForce)
Here's what critics are saying about THE INVISIBLE WAR:
"The scariest, most emotionally draining film you must see this year. And the most haunting, because the horrors are true, they’re still occurring and little has been done to stop them." -Richard Corliss, TIME
"This is not a movie that can be ignored." -A.O. Scott, The New York Times
"A gut punch of moral outrage...the film plants a knot in the stomach of the viewer and then steadily tightens it via an accrual of information, to a point where it seems inconceivable that this epidemic can be allowed to continue unchecked." -David Ronney, The Hollywood Reporter