Sorry children of mine, no Army Duty for you.
When somebody goes off to war, you know that they won’t be safe, but that unsafe-element of thinking is usually when they are on the battlefield, where danger lurks at every second. However, little do you know, that most of the danger usually takes place around the actual barracks, hide-outs, safe-zones, and camps themselves, mainly because of one terrible thing, and one thing only: rape.
Shit, I seriously have no clue where to start this review. I’m going to come right out and say it but I have no experience whatsoever in terms of what this film is really talking about. I’ve never enlisted into the army, I’ve never been raped, I’ve never been a woman, I’ve never really been in close contact with somebody that has been raped, and most of all, I have not known a person that has raped another. So, basically, this whole review to some may seem like it’s just coming from the finger-tips of a guy who has never once lived a day in any of the subjects that they are talking about shoes’ and has no idea what the hell he’s talking about. In a way, you may be correct, but in other way, I think you are dead, dead wrong, for one reason, and one reason only: I have the only experience needed, I’m human.
See, being human is one element that makes us what we are. Deciding what is right and what is wrong and how we can make not only ourselves better, but the others around us as well. You can live life, go on and on and on with the motions, do nothing for nobody, and end your life right then and there, but going out there, making a difference in someone’s life, showing them that you care, showing them that you listen, showing them that you know, and basically, just showing them that they matter. That’s what life is all about and it doesn’t matter if you have ever been in-combat, have ever killed somebody, have ever been surrounded by 99% dudes and then seeing one type-of female out of the blue, and it sure as hell doesn’t even matter if you have never, ever even been a victim or know somebody that has been a victim of rape. It all comes down to knowing what’s right, what’s wrong, and what we can do, as human-beings, to make our world a better, safer place for everyone in it.
I know all of this philosophical, “life and love rules” mumbo-jumbo may have a bunch of you surprised as hell to see what it is that I’m pulling here, but seriously, this movie made me feel something that I haven’t felt in the longest time when I watched a movie: anger. Seriously, every 4-minutes of this film that went-by, I just felt my hands gripping-up, my blood start to boil, my brows start to raise, and my mouth let out a huge, “WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?”, and it was all meant to happen because of what director Kirby Dick puts on-display here.
Before I go any further, I have absolutely, positively no problems with the US Military. Despite all of the piss-stains that come-out in this review and the documentary itself that may make it seem otherwise, the US Military is still one of the finest in the whole, wide world. Over the years, I’ve come to know people that have been in-service, or are going to be and I have no problems with that whatsoever. Never for me, but hey, if it’s for another person, good for them and you know what? I actually applaud you, because those are some of the bravest steps in life to take. Going to fight for your country, never knowing when you’ll make it back, how you will, or even if you will. For me, that’s some traumatizing shit but to the men and women of this country, who don’t give a diddly-squat about it, can go-out there, serve, and fight for our country, then more love and respect towards you. Seriously, it’s something I will applaud you for until the day I die.
However, this idea of a person going off to war, fighting for our country, doing what is right, and coming home raped more than once is something that really makes me want to punch someone, something, or just whoever the hell is responsible for all of this. You have to look at it like this, we live in a society where if you are raped, commit a rape, or hear of a rape; you call the cops, they settle the whole thing, get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, find out who’s responsible, go to the nearest-ends of the Earth to find that person, and eventually, have justice be served. That’s the way our country roles, that’s the way our society roles, that’s way our world roles, and hell, that’s how our human-consciences role. That’s why it’s so unbelievable to me that still, after years and years and years of women fighting in the service, we still have to deal with shit like rape.
But it’s not just dealing with the rape itself, it’s the idea that we still have to talk about it, still have to try and fight for it to end, and worst of all, actually have to tell these dim-witted a-holes that, “Rape is bad. Bring a buddy. Ask her when she’s sober…”. Seriously, shit like this is still talked about, let alone actually argued between two opposing-sides. Telling people that rape is not allowed, not only in the Army, but in the world should seem like a no-brainer in and of itself, but somehow, women (and sometimes men) still find themselves raped after serving our country.
The rape-act itself is god-awful, but what’s even worse, what’s even more appalling, and what’s even more distasteful is the fact that these power-hungry dick-heads behind the desks that have the highest-order in all of the Army, sit-back, hear the cases, ignore it, and basically act as if nothing had ever happened. Rape is bad, but acting like it never happened in the first-place, pushing it to the side so some people don’t get in trouble, and making sure that that person who got raped and reported it, doesn’t get any help whatsoever, whether it be medical, physical, or mental, is just downright disgusting. These people, go out there, to serve our country for more or less than 10 years and the one thing they can come back to and be promised of is that they’ll have their V-Card stolen from some horny Army Sergeant with a boner! You gotta be kidding me and what makes it even worse, is that there are over, and this is just a guesstimated number, over 20,000 assaults, and not even half of them, have had the assailants jailed, punished, or disciplined in any which way. It’s almost as if nothing had happened in the first-place; it’s almost like this terrible act of violence is allowed because you have a couple of medals on your arms; and it’s almost like it doesn’t matter, mainly because you’re a dude, that has a dick, that serves in the army, and has a high-chance of showing all of the corrupt bastards of the army for what they really are. Once again, I will say it, I have no problem with the men and women that serve this country, but with something like this running around rampantly, you can’t help but to point some fingers and get a little heated.
But, if none of this talking/ranting/raving will do anything, than what the hell will? Well, going out-there, realizing what’s right, what’s wrong, and making the lives for the people around you is one-way to start. The subjects that Dick follows here, I highly doubt I will ever meet in my life, or hell, even know that I’m meeting, if I walk into them on the street, but that’s not the point. These subjects, could literally be you, me, our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, our sister, our aunts, our uncles, anybody. Rape can happen to anybody, at any second and it can especially happen if they’re serving in the army. Hopefully, just hopefully people will realize we need to put a stop to all of this hate, pain, anger, and turmoil, and just get back to doing things the way we used to, but what the hell was that way in the first-place? It’s the 21st Century and problems such as rape are still prevalent in the army. When it will it stop? Who’s going to stop it? When? Where? How? And most importantly, who’s going to get punished for this all? There are so, so, so many questions left unanswered here and rightfully so, because they aren’t, and may never be answered. All we can hope on is that people see what’s in-front of them, know what is right, what is wrong, and continue to make the world a better, safer place for those around us.
Now, despite all of my rambling and raving about the human-psyche and what we all have stored in our minds, let me just tell you that this is probably going to be my favorite, if not, the best documentary of the year and a shoe-in for an Oscar. Highly doubt it matters if the movie wins an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Moon Man, or even a Grammy, because the subject-material is still as current as YouTube’s Video of the Day, and it may never go. That’s why I have to give a lot of love and respect to Dick for having the balls to make this movie, and even more love and respect to the people who actually participated in this, giving their thoughts, opinions, and experiences, no matter how painful they may have been.
I don’t think I ever found myself on the verge of tears, but this is some emotionally-heavy stuff to watch and you really feel for everybody involved, since nobody, absolutely nobody was asking for this to happen, regardless of what those high-ranking officials may say otherwise. To be honest, watching this movie ever again will never be an option for me because I think once, is quite enough and really did a number on me, my mind, and my whole thought-process as of right now since I’m so heated and angry at everything I just spent-on listening to and hearing for the past hour and 37 minutes. This is one of those documentaries that you have to, I repeat, HAVE TO be in the right-mood to watch and be gripped by, because it will really take you down a dark and heavy-road, that you cannot turn-off of.
However, if you do give this one a try and you have the right mood, mindset, and overall, thoughts going-on throughout your head, you will be completely riveted from start-to-finish. By the end, you’ll feel worn-down, tired, upset, angry, dirty, and overall, have a clearer-understanding of what’s going on out there in the world we live in, and the military that protects us. I could go on and on and on about how the military has really screwed the pooch on this one, but I don’t think I need to. I think a movie like this is important and powerful enough to be chosen as further-evidence as to why, and that’s something I haven’t said about a film, let alone, a documentary in the longest, longest-time. See it, and have your eyes opened. But never, ever watch it again.