The Invisible War is a 2012 documentary film written and directed by Kirby Dick and produced by Amy Ziering and Tanner King Barklow about sexual assault in the United States military. An investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military, the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence, and its profound personal and social consequences.
The Invisible War features interviews with veterans from multiple branches of the United States Armed Forces who recount the events surrounding their assaults. Their stories show many common themes, such as the lack of recourse to an impartial justice system, reprisals against survivors instead of against perpetrators, the absence of adequate emotional and physical care for survivors, the unhindered advancement of perpetrators’ careers, and the forced expulsion of survivors from service.
Interspersed with these first person testimonies are interviews with advocates, journalists, mental health professionals, active duty and retired generals, Department of Defense officials, and members of the military justice system. The film also includes footage, often shot by the veterans themselves, which documents their lives and continuing struggles in the aftermath of their assaults.
The military seems like a very hostile workplace. Its scarey to realize that the perpetrators, who often go scot-free or even promoted, may one day mix among civilians without our knowing. They could create new victims in workplaces and in our neighborhoods. The Secretary of Defense is taking some steps to improve the process, but more needs to be done. Kudos to Kirby Dick and his team for bringing this important issue to our attention.
Director: Kirby Dick
Year of Release: 2012
Character to watch: Kori Cioca as Herself.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?