That's the topic of The Invisible War, a new investigative documentary by Dick Kirby (Academy Award nominee for Twist of Faith) and Amy Ziering (who worked with Kirby on Outrage). We went to see the film at the Human Rights Film Festival at Lincoln Center with 12 of the students participating in Moxie this summer. We all left needing to tell someone about it. You MUST see this film and then tell 6000 other people about it.
From the opening drumroll, the film places its narrative in the context of the "be all you can be" fervor that promised women and men a pulse racing career serving your country. Visual trappings of service and honor cut to an opening montage of survivors disclosing story after story of violence commited first by trusted "brothers" in the military and then by a hierarchy that essentially allows the fox to guard the henhouse. Kirby and Ziering uncover the epidemic rates of rape and sexual assault against women (and men) in the military and indict the seamless system that ousts, silences and punishes victims who dare accuse their perpetrators. While the film's subject is the military, it speaks to the truth of many survivors who seek help and justice from churches, police or other institutions to only find themselves the object of doubt and ridicule. It is masterful storytelling and a must see. Look for it in theaters later this week.