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.

Pinjar (2003)

By The Gorgeous Palah Chingu

I watched this film like a month ago with ruby. This is not a cliche and shallow love story. This is a story of survival and courage of a girl named Purro and how her fate tangled with a man named Rashid. Heed my warning, there is no lovey dovey bollywood scene (except songs, yup, they still have them) can be found in this film. This film is based on a novel written by Amrita Pritam.

Pinjar_film_poster  MY RATING: 4/5

Why i liked this film:

The time setting for this film was during the partition of India and Pakistan. Isnt that intriguing to learn about the biggest human movement ever occurred in the world? well, i am intrigued. I dont know about you guys. The girl was being raped. The Boy raped her because of a family feud (you know the usual, revenge, settled the old score, etc…). There are 3 aspects of the film that i like: 

The first aspect is the stars of the film itself. Urmilla matondkar and Manoj Bajpai was the casts in this film. I know right away this was no ordinary bollywood film.

mw8x8h Dont let me start with Urmilla, she’s insanely good actress. i still remember how she portrayed being a psychotic bitch and an evil-possessed girl in her other’s film. She’s delivered her performance greatly on screen.

pinjar10 The Hero, Manoj fucking Bajpai (sorry for an exaggeration of saying his name) , Oh my god, he’s a villain in every single Bollywood movie. How can he portrayed a good guy (let alone a hero) in this film (yeah, he raped the girl, but he repented and try to redeem his behavior back, so what? its my fucking right to considered him as a good guy). There you go, the first reason why i liked this film was the hero and heroine in the film itself.

The second aspect is How you can gain and lose anything in any moment. For Purro (heroine), she lose her own family right after the incident but in the same time, gain Rashid (hero) as her new family afterwards. Life has its own way to turn our destiny, apparently. After few days being held captive by Rashid, she tried to escape from him and went back to her family. It was a heartbreaking moment to see her parents disowned her just like that.

Puro with her family

She was not welcomed at home and has been told to return to her husband as she not belong there anymore. Can you believe it? I know her parents made a wise decision to save other children from facing the same fate as purro as they were being threatened by rashid’s family. Still, i found it hard to accept such decision. If I was Purro, i would asked sobbingly to my parents this questions “Was i not your daughter too?” “Am i being alive was not worth anything to you?” I dont know how Purro felt at that time, but if i was her, i am sure as hell felt betrayed.

After being disowned by her own family, Rashid fetched her and they went back to his home. Rashid felt bad and decided to treat Purro better. Rashid being kind hearted and attend to every Purro’s needs. (That’s the least you could do after you raped her). while watching scene after scene how good rashid to purro, i am hypnotizing myself and constantly mumbling that ‘there is no way man like rashid exists and you must stop being delusional palah’.

The third aspect is how one event can turned your life upside down. After being abducted and raped, Purro lost her previous life completely. She lost her innocence, cheerfulness, family,  fiance, and even her own identity. Her whole life was shattered to pieces by one act. The question was how she survived the calamity fell upon her and continued on living as Rashid’s wife.

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She’s accepted the act as part of her fate and decided not to hang on her past anymore. She even chose Rashid over her family at the end of this film as she knew she could not betrayed rashid *SORRY, this is a spoiler. Rashid has been part of her life and she didnt had a heart to abandon rashid (even Rashid allowed her to do so). She knew the pain of abandonment by the loved ones and to do that to Rashid would be wrong.

My Minor Criticisms:

1) Rashid was too nice. like i said. there was no way in hell, such man existed.
2) The fate that Purro’s brother try to search her like crazy but when his own wife has been abducted, he didnt even care to find his wife.
3) The fact that purro’s fiancee still waiting for her even knowing she’s being held somewhere and might not come back at all.
4) Maybe, i am just too bitter to accept all of this as a part of film.

p/s: Can somebody find me this novel?