CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: ‘The Invisible War’ Details Shocking Horrors Faced by True Heroes
CHICAGO – A female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is less likely to be hit by enemy fire than she is to be sexually assaulted by a fellow soldier. If that doesn’t chill you to the bone and make your blood boil, I don’t want to know you. It’s shameful, disgusting, and infuriating and Kirby Dick’s “The Invisible War” brilliantly brings this under-reported story to the surface in a way that makes it one of the best documentaries of the last several years.
Here’s some more perspective. Over 20% of the women who have volunteered to keep you safe have been sexually assaulted. The numbers from the Department of Defense imply that over 16,000 men and women were assaulted LAST YEAR. And the pain doesn’t come close to ending after the assault. Not only do these women (mostly women, but men are assaulted and profiled in Dick’s film as well) deal with physical pain and emotional turmoil for years but it’s often compounded by the way the institution deals with the crimes. Blaming the victim, protecting the criminal, building a culture of hate and violence - what someone calls “professional retaliation in their chosen career.” And their chosen career is serving in the military. If it doesn’t make you angry, you’re not human.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “The Invisible War” in our reviews section.|
In Dick’s breathtaking film (it’s an over-used word but I mean it literally…there was one point early on when brave woman after woman came forward to describe her assault where I found it hard to breathe and it happened again later in the film when a judgment was issued that made me scream out loud), you will meet a number of American heroes who will be hard to forget. One in particular that Dick keeps returning to is Michigan Coast Guard veteran Kori Cioca, a woman who not only has to deal with a VA claim process that’s ridiculous but a litany of traumatic issues related to her assault. She carries a knife and a cross when she leaves the house. Her sex life with her very supportive husband isn’t normal. She wakes up her family in the middle of the night to play because it’s quiet and she feels safe. Oh, and she can’t eat solid foods because her jaw was broken by her superior.
The Invisible War
Photo credit: Cinedigm