With The Invisible War, documentarian Kirby Dick fixates his lens on one of American's most shameful and unknown secrets - rape within the US military being so frequent it could be classified as an epidemic. The film focuses on the battle of a few woman who unfortunately have been victims of this horrible epidemic, chronicling their lives both pre and post-incident. Stylistically, Kirby Dick's The Invisible War is another talking heads style documentary, featuring countless interviews with high ranking government officials, military personnel and victims. While the presentation isn't exactly groundbreaking the story is so shocking, depressing, disgusting and infruiating that one cannot help but be wrapped up in this story. The film is very much told from the victims point of view, spending time with the victims and truly understanding how this heinous act against them has affected their lives. The most tragic aspect may just be how these woman's idealism was crushed. We see how these women took so much pride in going into the military in an effort to defend the country they love only to have their dignity and basic human rights stripped away from them by something which they held so high. It's an incredibly tragic notion that the thing these woman believed in and held so highly, the military, ends up being the thing that strips them of their honor and in some cases innocence. While there is no denying the power of The Invisible War the film does have a few somewhat laughable moments of emotionaly manipulation. The music at times comes off as a little too much for me and I particularly had an issue with the long dramatic pauses which were prevalent in the film's use of written text when informing the viewer of expositional statisitics. I guess the reason these little things bothered me is that they were completely unnecessary as I was already emotionally invested in this story. I also wish the film would have included one of the male victims more, using them in a more dominant narrative thread of the documentary. We are introduced to the notion that men are raped, even meeting a few victims, but none of these male victims occupy nearly as much of the narrative as the three or four female victims. The Invisible War is a film with a subject matter that is bound to disgust and infuriate the viewer, touching on a very important issue which needs more attention, thusly making it pretty much impossible not to appreciate.
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