Film Screening and Q&A with Producer, Amy Ziering - Reception to Follow
The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigation about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem; a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
Focusing on the powerfully emotional stories of rape victims, The Invisible War is a moving indictment of the systemic cover-up of military sex crimes, chronicling the women’s (and men's) struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice. It also features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officials and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm of conditions that exist for rape in the military, its long-hidden history, and what can be done to bring about much-needed change.
At the core of the film are often heart-rending interviews with the rape survivors themselves. While rape victims in the civilian world can turn to an impartial police force and judicial system for help and justice, rape victims in the military must turn to their commanders—a move that is all too often met with foot-dragging at best, and reprisals at worst. Many rape victims find themselves forced to choose between speaking up and keeping their careers. The Department of Defense estimates there were a staggering 19,300 service members sexually assaulted in 2010 alone.
The Invisible War exposes the epidemic of sexual assault in the military – one of the most under-reported stories of our generation, Award winning filmmakers Kirby Dick, Director, and Amy Ziering, Producer, are proud to be breaking story to the nation and the world. They hope the film will help lead a national dialogue about the crime of rape perpetrated on the very people who have pledged to protect our country and are gratified to see the film is already making an impact.
Since The Invisible War premiered at Sundance, the film has been circulating through the highest levels of the Pentagon and the administration. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta watched The Invisible War on April 14. Two days later, he directed military commanders to hand over all sexual assault investigations to a higher-ranking colonel. At the same time, Panetta announced that each branch of the armed forces would establish a Special Victims Unit. While these are promising first steps, much more needs to be done. To that end, The Invisible War is a call for our civilian and military leadership to listen. And to act.
Amy Ziering, Producer
Amy Ziering is an Emmy nominated and award-winning Los Angeles producer and director. Her most recent film, OUTRAGE, was produced and distributed by Magnolia Pictures and had its television premiere on HBO. Ziering's previous release, THE MEMORY THIEF, which she produced, stars Mark Webber and Jerry Adler and is a thought provoking examination of the relationship between empathy, narcissism, and trauma. It was NY TIMES critics pick and won several festival awards. Ziering also co-directed and produced DERRIDA, a documentary about the world-renowned French philosopher and the philosophical movement known as deconstruction. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, won the Golden Gate award at the San Francisco Film Festival, and was released theatrically by Zeitgeist Films. Ziering also produced Richard Cohen's critically acclaimed TAYLOR'S CAMPAIGN, a documentary about Ron Taylor, a homeless person who ran for a seat on the Santa Monica City Council. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Ziering taught literature and film at Yale University and Bennington College.
The Invisible War film screening, Q&A and reception are sponsored by UCSB's Carsey-Wolf Center, Rape Prevention Education Program, Veteran's Resource Team, the Claeyssens Veterans Museum and Library, and the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center's FALLOUT: IN THE AFTERMATH OF WAR SERIES.