Monument to Women Veterans
Pensacola Little Theatre
April 10, 2013
Doors open at 5:00 pm
From Oscar- and Emmy-nominated filmmaker Kirby Dick comes THE INVISIBLE WAR, a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America's most shameful and best-kept secrets - the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military.
Director Kirby Dick is best known for his Oscar-nominated film on the Motion Picture Rating Board, but this film covers an even more serious topic. The fact that the Department of Defense estimates that 20% of all females in the Armed Services have been raped will probably astound the average American. But Dick has the proof. Though at least 20 women (and, a few men - yes, men are raped in the service too), the more in depth interviews are with 3 or four women dealing with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - an anachronism surprisingly never explained in the film). The film won the Audience Award at the recent 2012 Sundance Festival.
"The Invisible War" is a must see, not only because it is very well made, but because everyone should be aware of this issue that plagues the American military. The film does a beautiful job of simply letting the victims tell their stories. The result is both heartbreaking and eye opening. "The Invisible War" not only exposes the serious problem of rape for both men and women in our armed services, but it offers some sense of why this occurs so frequently and -- most importantly -- what can be done to fix it. In very emotional footage, men and women speak about their rapes and how it destroyed their ability to continue to serve and the dedication of many of their family members who were also serving. This documentary is important for anyone who cares about the professionalism of our armed forces and about the money we put into training people who want to serve and then are lost. It also presents possible solutions...so you leave the film with the sense that things can change if there is the will to change them. Very powerful.
February 24, 2013 - Heartbreaking By Amy Leigh
"This film touches on a lot of issues, with one main one in the centerpiece that as both a human being and Marine Corps veteran cuts deep. I served with one of the women in this film, and it broke my heart to hear her story. The military is still very much a boys club, with women who have been raped or brutalized often having to prove that they didn't "earn it" or "ask for it." While I think some of the film was focused too much on one story, when there were so many that equally deserved the spotlight, I'm assuming it was because hers was a little more dynamic and discussed a serious problem with the Veterans Affairs administration's genuine incapability to handle veteran's affairs. It's hard to watch, and hard to swallow, but that's the point. This needs to be talked about if there's ever a chance to FIX this problem."
By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERS
"Filmmaker Kirby Dick is not adverse to challenging the status quo and asking the probing and provocative questions that help to define an issue. This unblinking gaze is turned onto the horrific subject of sexual assault and cover-up within the military in the eye-opening, unpleasant, and powerful "The Invisible War." And the result may leave you quite stunned and disturbed. This is certainly not a new topic, but the quantity of these events might just surprise you and Dick uses the government's own internal statistics to support his claims. Here's a couple of examples: about 20% of women in the armed services have endured some type of sexual assault (these are just reported numbers as well) and men entering service are 15% more likely to have sexual assault in their background than a similar composition of civilian men. The Department of Defense estimates there were 19,300 service members sexually assaulted in 2010 alone! Tell me that isn't a horrifying figure.
The film is populated by a staggering number of women and men who were victimized while serving their country. Obviously, these stories are shocking and uncomfortable. The betrayal (by people they considered brothers or friends) alone has impacted many irreparably and the psychological toll is apparent. Many of the strongest emotional moments are provided by the loved ones of these former soldiers as well. The film also examines the issue from the legal side, with many experts weighing in on the handling of such cases. Because as if the initial attacks weren't awful enough, the military response (in most cases) doubly intensified the situations. For me, this is the most disgusting part of these crimes--the seeming indifference, the lack of responsibility, and the veiled (or not so veiled) threats to keep these victims silenced. It's appalling, truly. "The Invisible War" is an important film that should be seen and examined. Hopefully by continuing to shine a light on this unpleasant subject, there will be more and more pressure to start taking effective measures (beyond a ridiculous advertising campaign that supposes all men are predators and women should be wary of everyone). But those in power, even with congressional scrutiny, seem to remain obstinate and defiant. Obviously, "The Invisible War" is an impassioned movie that will get under your skin. In that way, it is extremely effective and affecting. My highest recommendation, this is a topic that needs to be explored even further--but Dick's film is a bracing expose that just might surprise you." KGHarris, 10/12.