"Invisible War" documentary tackles military rape

Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:02pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering explore rape within the U.S. military in the documentary "The Invisible War", which opens in select movie theaters on Friday.

With more than 3,000 sexual assault cases reported in the U.S. military in 2011, according to the Defense Department, and estimates by officials that the problem could be six times greater than reported, it's a matter that Dick and Ziering feel can no longer be swept under the rug.

The duo, who exposed closeted politicians who opposed gay rights in the 2009 film "Outrage", talked with Reuters about their latest endeavor.

Q: With such a sensitive topic, how did you find your subjects?

Dick: "We contacted therapists, vet centers, victim advocates, attorneys to try and get in contact with anybody who'd been assaulted in the military. Most of our efforts went into the Internet, working through Facebook and Google searches .... We ended up contacting over 100 people."

Q: How did you decide who to ultimately feature?

Ziering: "We knew we wanted people as contemporary and as young as possible so the Department of Defense couldn't say that this was a problem in the past that has now been corrected. We knew the (victims) had to have unimpeachable evidence and cases that were unassailable so we would not have any backlash ourselves. They also had to be strong enough and recovered enough from the trauma to withstand public scrutiny that could come with being part of a film project."

Q: What is the difference between rape in the civilian world and rape in the military world?   Continued...