The Invisible War, film review: Moving study of shattered idealism and patriotism

(NC) Kirby Dick, 93 mins

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The Independent Culture

Kirby Dick's harrowing feature documentary (Oscar-nominated last year) exposes the extent of rape and sexual assault within the US military.

The film also makes it very clear that there is little justice for victims. They are traumatised, their careers are wrecked, their family lives are destroyed. Their assailants (often their senior officers) are rarely punished.

The film-makers profile several veterans who, years later, are still suffering as a result of assaults. The most prominently featured is Kori Cioca, a former Coast Guard whose cheek and jaw were smashed when she was raped.

The film works both as advocacy and as a very moving study of women (and one or two men) whose idealism and patriotism have been utterly shattered.

What the doc doesn't address in any real detail is the mindset of the assailants – why they inflicted such suffering and why the authorities made so little effort to stop them or investigate their crimes.