The Invisible War (2012)

Let's start off with a disclaimer: rape is bad. I'm against rape and in favor of the vigorous prosecution of any of those who commit this indefensible act. Furthermore, I am appalled by the military's attitude toward this crime and veterans in general. Additionally, I believe that women are a vital part of our fighting forces and deserve as much respect and opportunities as men.

If at any point you are confusing my critique of the purpose of the movie and the execution of the movie, please refer to the first paragraph. My review is only on the execution of this documentary - not the subject matter. The subject matter requires attention to nuance that my past experience has indicated people tend to ignore. Instead, they pull things out of context or misread them so that my stated opinion fits their own assumptions of what I must believe.

This movie centers around the horrible acts of rape committed by military personnel on other military people. All of the people profiled were women, but there are a couple acknowledgements that there are sexual assaults on men, too. Presumably there are far fewer of those, but we never get into specifics. This centers on the recounting of the horrible acts, their repercussions (both physical and emotional), and the problems associated with trying to report the assaults.

In short, this movie is dull. I've seen other documentaries before: some good, some bad. I understand that the pacing for a documentary is slower than a normal movie, but this was really, really slow. And it confused issues. I realize these women have to deal with all of the issues that were in the movie, but it diminishes the main focus of the movie by constantly hitting the point that the VA is incompetent. They are not more useless for the women, they are just pointless overall.

The way that they introduce each woman's story also softens the impact of each act. Instead of increasing the outrage and horror that should associate each one, they eventually take on a dull buzz like when you repeat a word over and over again. Maybe that was the point, but I'm not sure. I'm convinced that this got awards based solely on subject matter - the movie itself isn't worth it.

The pacing of the movie was very slow.
The directing was nearly non-existent.
Editing was haphazard.
There was no acting.
The cinematography was kind of lousy - like you would expect for most documentaries.



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