DOC NYC Review: ‘AFTER FIRE’ proves that women in the military are not equal.

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Synopsis: Set in the military outpost of San Antonio, Texas, AFTER FIRE highlights the challenges faced by the fastest-growing group of American veterans: women, who now account for one in five new recruits to the U.S. Armed Forces. Demonstrating courage during their military service and resilience in its aftermath, Brittany Huckabee’s subjects candidly confront the fallout of their experiences on their personal lives as they adjust to the civilian world. The film throws a spotlight on the human toll of rape in the military, combat injuriesand bureaucratic dysfunction, telling a universal story about strength in the aftermath of trauma.
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Considering we have an individual heading into the highest office in the land that has repeatedly admitted on and off camera how much he disrespects women, how can we expect our female military personnel to feel any safer than they do now? With a long history of unreported sexual assault in the military, where 1 in 5 women reports PTSD, and 1 in 5 reports rape and MST or military sexual Trauma, how do we, as a country, ensure these brave people that we stand up for them? AFTER FIRE takes a peek into the lives of a few women living with the emotional and physical wounds of MST. The film addresses the gender inequality in an already broken V.A. system. The likelihood of a PTSD claim based on rape only has a 40% chance of being approved since the victims are held to a much higher standard of proof. How do these women survive after something so heinous? Mostly by putting on a brave face. One of the subjects explains that in the military you are, “trained to respond and react, and not to show any emotion about it.” So what happens in an environment dominated by men when only half of all assaults get reported to begin with, what can we do to change the system? We talk by listening. We start by believing. We start by standing up for one another. In this volatile moment in our American history, we need to start caring more about one another, come out into the light, and take action. AFTER FIRE shows us the slow torturous burn of keeping secrets and wearing emotionally scars on our sleeves. These women fight to protect us, the least we can do is protect them.2_after-fire_roberta-anthem

 RT: 90 Minutes
A Transform Films Inc. Production
World Premiere at DOC NYC in American Perspectives Section
Friday, November 11th at 7:00pm (IFC Center) – Premiere Screening
Monday, November 14th at 10:15am (IFC Center)
Film Subjects Expected to Attend Premiere: Valerie Sullivan, Roberta Castaneda, Laly Cholak, Kevin Sullivan

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.