March 6, 2014 6:29 pm

The Invisible War – film review

Documentarist Kirby Dick looks at the common and often unpunished crime of rape in the US military

Men will be men: a wisdom mercilessly illustrated in The Invisible War. Docu-controversialist Kirby Dick (This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Outrage) looks at rape in the military. He needn’t look far. Half a million is the estimate for incidents in modern history. The victims’ misery is compounded by a response system leaving justice to commanders, who are often either the rapists themselves or their best friends.

Tears are not hard evidence, but they are hard to resist as anecdotal testimony. Witness after witness breaks down, including a soldier father gnawed by remorse over a daughter he pushed into service and, unwittingly, straight into violation. The same girl cannot get the army to finance surgery on facial damage suffered during her assault. The US forces have had a tarnished time in recent years. But then again, the US is one of the few countries and cultures honest enough to allow lights to be shone, over and over, into its darknesses.

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