An investigative and powerfully emotional documentary about the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the US military and the institutions that perpetuate and cover up its existence. The film chronicles the stories of soldiers who have suffered profound personal and social consequences.
If ever there was a film to infuriate you, this would top the charts. I knew the content was going to be hard to get through, but I had read about Kirby Dick — who was in the house for the screening — in a New York Times review and how hard he worked to uncover the brutal abuse of women in the US military. So if nothing else I wanted to support the film, and I’m really glad that I did.
Dick follows the stories of a group of women who served in the Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army and Navy who had all been sexually assaulted by a comrade or a commanding officer. What’s interesting (and down right ludicrous) in the US is when a victim of sexual assault files a complaint, it is tried within the army’s judicial system and the person who has the final say on punishment is the commanding officer of the victim. Given the commanding officer is quite frequently the assailant or guilty of protecting the person responsible, the women never see any form of justice. They’re often blamed because they’re dressed too attractively or wearing make-up.
It made me wonder what the conditions are like for women in the Canadian military. They did site in the film that the US is one of the only modern militaries to try cases like this within the confines of the military, but it would be complacent to think that this doesn’t happen in other countries.
The best and brightest part of the film is the courageous women who came forward and are still fighting today for justice and a normal life.