The Invisible War, the latest groundbreaking investigative documentary by award-winning director Kirby Dick, is about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The number of assaults in the last decade alone reached the hundreds of thousands.
CanCulture: In the documentary, there is the voice of a woman asking some of the interview questions. Could you elaborate on that and the size of your production?
Kirby Dick: I usually work with a very small team. Sometimes the interviews were just that was just Amy Ziering, my producer. And Amy did all the interviews with the survivors because it just created much more of a safe space for a woman to do it. She did a phenomenal job. In many ways I consider the interviews the soul of the film. But we work with a small crew, sometimes we’d have as many as five, sometimes it would be just her and I. I mean I like to keep it really intimate for these situations.
CC: Did the women get the chance to see the film and what was it like for them?
KD: It was incredibly moving experience for them. I think all of them have said to me that you know the opportunity to be in the film and talk openly about this really changed their lives.
CC: Some of the females in the doc mention they look at young girls who are going into the military and they worry themselves about the implications. What do you think this means for the future of women in the military?
KD:I think that obviously more women in the military will be better. But I think also, knowing what the situation is, getting the truth out, is also important. So I think it’s really the responsibility now of the us military to address the situation and I think this film may cause some women not to join, and that’s going to hurt the military. And when they address this problem, and they make it safe for all their soldiers, then those women will come back.