Can a Film About Rape in the Military Win an Oscar?

TitleCan a Film About Rape in the Military Win an Oscar?
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsDavidson, Amy
MagazineNew Yorker Blogs
Date Published2013/02/22

First paragraph: One of the nominees for Best Documentary in Sunday night’s Academy Awards is “The Invisible War,” about sexual assault in the military. It is a wrenching film; woman after woman tells about being attacked by a fellow-soldier, sailor, or Marine, and then being betrayed, more profoundly, by the her officers and by military as an institution. The women were the ones who end up paying a price or losing their careers. Some remembered being cautioned, when they asked help, about the punishment for making false charges: Were they ready to risk not being believed? The Pentagon’s own estimate is that close to twenty-thousand servicewomen were sexually assaulted in 2010; only a tiny fraction resulted in courts martial, and fewer in convictions. Watching the film, one has a sense of how brave the women who join the armed forces can be—they were exposing their lives on camera—and how the military has squandered that courage.

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