Documentary Review: The Invisible War (2012)

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

My Rating: 5/5
My Rating: 5/5

What is it to live in the country that is so called ‘free’ and uphold their democracy so highly but when it comes to standing up and fight for the plight of rape victims, everybody just gone ‘shushh’. I know it is not my country and i am not going to badmouthing anybody but if you watched this documentary film, you know exactly how i feel. All of this poor woman entered the military with the idea of serving for their country. Some of them are the top recruit and served in the army for more than 5 years. Some of them came from the background of army family so the idea of wanting to do for their country running proudly in their vein. Who can blame them though? Both my parents are retired police officer. They served in quite high rank before officially retired. If my parents did encourage my brothers and i to be a police officer, we all may be one. However, my parents said no to us. They said be anything you like but not the police. I dont know what caused them to do it but i know they had a reason.

Kori Cioca

In the beginning, all the rape victims is being introduced one by one to the audience. Some of them served a quite bit high rank in the military and due to the rape incident, they are being demoted and had to leave military earlier. It is hard not to cry if you watched this film. There is one victim named kori who attempted suicide more than one due to Post traumatic stress disorder. She was raped more than once and at one event, she was being slapped by her rapist and it cause her jaw  to dislocate. Since then, Kori in the massive pain as she could not chew a solid pain and even change in the weather would caused some minor ache to her jaw. Kori told the story of how she called, applied and enquired army office to claim the compensation of her jaw injury. The red tape shown is no joke. She called over and over again only to be dismissed or wait in the other line like bloody forever. Next thing, when Kori received the claim letter officially, they said she’s not qualified to claim it due to her incomplete service in military. Kori’s rapist is not being harmed or prosecuted since the evidents against him is lacking and instead, Kori is forced to leave. Is this justice? i dont know you tell me.

Hannah Sewell and her father.
Hannah Sewell and her father.

Hannah sewell is among the victims that had a military background. Having a father that served in military, she looked up to him and wanting to be him one day. She did it eventually and enlisted in the army. Next thing you know, she called her father when in her base camp telling her dad that she is no longer a virgin. Her father asked with a concern ‘why is that?’ Hannah answered ‘I was raped’. Her father cried during the interview. Her father who have been proudly served in the army would not have thought that her daughter will be treated like that. Hannah faced many assault and even raped by the same rapist so many times. At one particular trauma event, Hannah talked about how she was tied to bed and the rapist touched all of her body and said ‘i owned all of this’.

Ariana Klay and her Unit
Ariana Klay and her Unit

Ariana klay is considered the top recruits and went to be promoted in one of prestigious unit of Marine located in Washington DC. Ariana reminisce the story of how she was happy and could not wait to go there. It all changed after she herself went there. She was being insulted and being verbally abused by senior officer saying that how female marines are just the object of them to fuck. They even said to those who wear a make up in marine are sluts and showing an interest to sleep with everybody. Ariana was raped by her senior officer and his friend after the drinking event. She does not want to go to the drinking event but it was expected of her. It is a command given after they all finished performing the ceremonial drill. After the traumatized incident, Ariana reported the case and marine claimed that there are 2 sides of the story and indicating that Ariana may consent to what happened to her. Her rapist also threatened her if she opened her mouth and reported the case, she will be killed. Ariana appeared in the interview with her husband. Her husband who also served in the marine cried while told the story of how Ariana did try to kill herself because of PTSD. He told how Ariana gave her 9 years of life to serve in Iraq only to be back and treated like a nobody in her unit.

Michael Matthews
Michael Matthews

The victims featured in this documentary is not just a female officers. There is a male officers appeared in the interview to talk about this dark and hidden event happened back when they served the army. One of the them is michael matthews. He said he could not talk about this thing and he kept it for so long that it caused him to attempt suicide a few times. Until one day, he said he cannot held it any longer and decided to tell her wife. He is expecting that he will be be dumped by her wife after telling the story. Instead, her wife remains as his strong pillar of emotion and moral support. Matthews told the story of how he was struck from behind, being held by 2 persons while the other one sodomized him. He told how the burden has been lifted from his chest after told the truth to her wife. They started the campaign together to warn the public that there are sexual violence occurred in the army and to try to put an end to this injustice.

There are other stories that touched my heart to the core. This is a must watch documentary. It was heartbreaking to see how such an optimist and ideal person, eager to serve their country but returned with a story that cannot be erased from their mind and the trauma lingered for god knows how long.

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