Military Rape Victims Speak Up in New Documentary: The Invisible War
[UPDATE: The Invisible War, one of the most talked about documentaries at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, received the festival's Audience Award January 31st, and Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige pledged to write an original song when the film is distributed.]
The Invisible War examines the epidemic of rape within the US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. Directed by Kirby Dick and executive produced by a line-up of activists including Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Geralyn Dreyfous, Abigail Disney, Nicole Boxer Keegan and Maria Cuomo Cole, the film features hard-hitting interviews with rape survivors, high-ranking military officials, and members of Congress.
The Invisible War proposes that not only does violence and harassment from fellow soldiers and officers traumatize victims, but the absence of impartial justice is often compounded by personal retaliations faced after reporting the crime.
When several of the rape victims who are featured in the film appeared at a Sundance screening, there was an unexpected and touching result. Kori Cioca, who suffered repeated sexual assaults by a superior officer in the Coast Guard, described the enormous medical costs it will require to repair her dislocated jaw. A couple from the audience, who were attending the Sundance event, approached her following the screening and committed to paying her medical bills, estimated at $60,000. Cioca’s emotional story was the rare bright moment in an otherwise difficult conversation. Check out the video here.
Stay tuned for updates about when and where you can see this powerful film in the months ahead.