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"The Invisible War": Sexual Assault in the Military, Q&A w/ filmmakers and more!

The Invisible War


The connection between human trafficking and sexual violence against women should be obvious. That our culture tolerates it to such a great extent is an indictment of all who fail to fight against it. This film exposes what may be the most egregious example of the War on Women, the epidemic of rape in the military by supposed comrades in arms, and the shameful coverup of this abuse.

June 20,[masked]:30 PM / Film Society of Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater Screening followed by discussion with filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and film subjects Ariana and Ben Klay. Discussion moderated by Liesl Gerntholtz, Director, Women's Rights division, Human Rights Watch.

See Trailer HERE

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about the shameful and underreported epidemic of rape within the US military. With stark clarity and escalating revelations, The Invisible War exposes the rape epidemic in the armed forces, investigating the institutions that perpetuate it as well as its profound personal and social consequences. We meet characters who embraced their military service with pride and professionalism, only to have their idealism crushed.

Focusing on the emotionally charged stories of survivors, the film reveals the systemic cover-up of the crimes against them and follows their struggles to rebuild their lives and fight for justice.

The Invisible War features hard-hitting interviews with high-ranking military officers and members of Congress that reveal the perfect storm conditions that exist for rape in the military, its history of cover-up, and what can be done to bring about much needed change. Courtesy of Cinedigm Entertainment and Docurama Films. US theatrical release June 22.


Renowned cinematographer and filmmaker Nestor Almendros (1930–1992) was a founder of the Human Rights Watch Film Festival, actively involved in the selection of films and the promotion of human rights filmmaking. Even while deeply immersed in his own projects, he took the time to call the Festival team to mention a strong documentary or promote a work-in-progress. Believing in the power of human rights filmmaking, Nestor devoted himself to becoming a mentor to many young filmmakers. It is in the Festival's loving memory of Nestor and our desire to celebrate his vision that we proudly bestow this award to filmmakers for their exceptional commitment to human rights.

The Festival is delighted to present Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering—filmmakers ofThe Invisible War—with our 2012 Nestor Almendros Award for courage in filmmaking.

In 2011, Human Rights Watch documented rape during both wartime and peace time in Cote d’Ivoire, Libya, Turkey, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 2006, a landmark United Nations report on global violence against women concluded that women and girls are at risk of rape from their partners, members of their families and communities, police officers, soldiers and other state officials. They experience sexual violence during war and political upheaval but also in societies with no conflict. Many women and girls who are raped receive no health care or other services they need to heal physical and psychological wounds. Impunity for sexual violence is rife and few women receive justice.


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  • Nancy

    Does anyone know if tickets are likely to be available at the last minute (my work schedule is uncertain)?

    June 19, 2012

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