The Academy Award nominations were announced today, and The Invisible War was nominated for Best Documentary. Jonathan Hahn interviewed the filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering who are behind this powerful examination of sexual assault in the US military. From the introduction:
There are some works of writing or painting, speech, or film that do more than just stand as great works of art. They change things. They put before us something fundamentally wrong with the world — with the society we take for granted, with the institutions on which we depend and that in turn depend on us — and demand change.The Invisible War belongs in that pantheon, and is easily one of the most important films of the year.
Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have delivered an open letter to the military that manages to balance journalism with rage, patriotism with disillusionment in a methodical, carefully crafted narrative form. The Invisible War exposes a rampant and ignored crisis of rape and sexual assault in the U.S. military that has reached epidemic proportions. Watching the film is an exercise in outrage, as we discover the crisis very much the way the filmmakers did: shocked at its proportion, disgusted at the culture of institutional secrecy that, in an undeniable parallel with the Catholic Church, works to conceal and cover it up. While that culture has succeeded in protecting the institution, as well as the perpetrators of these crimes, it has left behind generations of women and men who entered the military as patriots to their country, only to find themselves not just traumatized but abandoned, even vilified.