‘The Invisible War’ hits home at Auraria
Documentary involves students creates change
Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 02:03
Popular documentaries often track events that seem foreign and far removed from our daily lives—political conspiracies, exotic locations, and obscure art scenes often dominate these films. However, the Oscar-nominated The Invisible War is tied directly to Auraria campus in more than one way.
The Invisible War, which was recently screened on campus as part of the Women’s Resource Center’s monthly movie showing, confronts the prevalence of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the US military.
There are over 2,500 veterans on Auraria campus. There are several Auraria organizations that exist to provide a community for these students, including the Veteran Student Office, and the Lady Vets, whose goal is to provide a safe environment for female veterans on campus.
“We work closely with the Veteran Services so [showing the film] seemed like a natural fit,” said Carisa Weaver, coordinator of the Women’s Resource Center. “I wanted to make sure that we were able to bring it to our community.”
The film has also been important for students outside of the veteran community. Several students in the film department were involved in the making of The Invisible War. CU Denver student Ian Kellett did additional cinematography for the film. “[Director of Photography] Aaron met up with me and we drove out to this farm way out in the middle of nowhere. It was maybe an hour east of Castle Rock,” said Kellett.
“They had us film the farm [of an interviewee] and do interviews and film therapy sessions. [Director] Kirby was a pleasure to work with, he really knew what he wanted to get and he would push to get it,” he said.
UCD film major, gender studies minor Alex Eddy got involved with bringing the film to campus through her internship at the Women’s Resource Center. “There are a lot of veterans on campus … We wanted to bring this issue to light to help the veterans at Auraria,” she said.
The campus showing of The Invisible War on Feb. 25 brought a crowd of both veterans and non-vets, and the post-film discussion quickly became charged with emotion as viewers talked about how they were affected by the issues portrayed by the film. Dr. Katie Barrs, a Military Sexual Trauma counselor at the Denver Vet Center, answered questions and provided information on resources for veterans.
Barrs also spoke about the impact that the film has had on legislation since its release, saying that President Obama has been working toward changing the military justice system to help victims.
Despite its upsetting and saddening subject matter, the successes of The Invisible War highlight the power of regular people working to create art and invoke change. “I told [Carissa] that the movie was hopeful,” said Eddy. “The Secretary of Defense made a new law that rape victims don’t go to their commanding officers anymore because of this movie. It’s sad, but it’s hopeful.”