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Lioness

34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

U.S. policy forbids women from serving in military units whose primary objective is direct ground combat. So how did a group of female support soldiers end up fighting alongside Marines in some of the most violent counterinsurgency battles of the Iraq War?

Powerful and provocative, LIONESS traces the stories of five female support soldiers who served in Iraq in various capacities mechanic, supply clerk, engineer and ultimately became the first women in American history to be sent into direct ground combat. The film follows the Lionesses rapid progression from diffusing tensions with local civilians to fierce street-level combat in Ramadi, and in doing so raises such issues as gender and warfare and the deep divide between policy and practice. Together, these women s experiences illuminate the emotional and psychological effects of war from a uniquely female perspective.

Narrating the Lioness stories through a wide array of mediums including first-hand accounts, archival footage, journal entries, and interviews with military commanders, LIONESS gives voice to a hidden history of female combat and, more broadly, explores how human beings are forever transformed by the trauma of war.

Special Features: The Changing Role of Women in the Military; Deleted Scenes; Trailer; Filmmaker Biographies


Product Details

  • Actors: Female Soldiers
  • Directors: Meg McLagan, Daria Sommers
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: October 27, 2009
  • Run Time: 82 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001N18HLO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,987 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lioness" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By PoohLover on July 12, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This was a great documentary that shows women from different walks of life sacrificing for their country. Watching this documentary made me even more proud to be a female Veteran. These women did what they needed to do along with the men in the military. It shows that women are a valuable asset to the military, even in combat.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By ENH on October 2, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent documentary about women in combat. It highlights the dilemma of the law that says women are not supposed to be in combat (and therefore are not trained) vs. the fact that women ARE in combat and should be trained.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Roberts on February 25, 2011
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Only reinforces the respect I have for female service members. As a veteran of the Iraqi War, I can empathize with these soldiers. I salute their professionalism and personal courage to step up and complete the mission when duty called. I pray that the sacrifices for their country do not lead to the detriment of their lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Stella Carrier on November 12, 2011
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"Lioness" is a great film about a group of female soldiers that were a pivotal part of the early stages of the Iraq war. The film shares their feelings and experiences while they simultaneously juggle other facets of life. It features five of the women who were directly involved in the combat: Specialist Shannon Morgan,Specialist Rebecca Nava,Captain Anastasia Breslow,Staff Sergeant Ranie Ruthig, and Major Kate Gurromsen. Captain Lory Manning is also featured discussing her perspective on women involved in combat. This film is worth watching because it tells the unique perspective of how these brave women felt about their jobs while simultaneously grappling with the political debate regarding the pros and cons of placing females at the frontline. It is also very insightful when they courageously open their hearts on a couple of circumtances. For example, it pulled at my heartstrings when one of the women described an emotionally charged experience of an incident in Iraq. She was inside one of the vehicles when some of the local children were climbing on it. Another incident shows the females congregating together and watching a history channel documentary about the current conflict. They are justifiably concerned about the omission of female names. This was even with one of the officers mentioning how at least 25 females were available for the event being featured. I completely understand that many brave men fight in these wars. However, this documentary proves that more women also deserve similar recognition.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Flap on February 22, 2015
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LIONESS: This title explains it all. I am a female veteran. THIS film lets everyone know we exist, and we are powerful. Our roles as female soldiers, sailors, marines and AF members are changing. I was totally absorbed in this production. Many memories returned for me, since my time as AD, decades ago. We ladies have moved into various positions in which we may indeed find ourselves facing an enemy, from the business end of an M-16! To serve our country, our fellow citizens by volunteering for military duty is our goal. It IS a calling, and not everyone is strong enough to answer, when the time comes. This film depicts a few of the women who have heard and answered that call to duty. Hazardous? Yes, without a doubt. Work which includes combat support missions, is placed squarely on their shoulders. It shows the strength from their core beliefs, and demonstrates the literal meaning of courage for the viewers. This is not to say our male counterparts are in any way inadequate or lacking. They serve, who serve honorably. I salute every member of this film for opening America's eyes to the unhappy truth: We are already doing the jobs we intended to, as well as stepping forward when duty calls. This documentary was powerful, and evocative of the central shared truth: We can and will do the jobs, so please make sure we know how. Training. Support. Training. It only stands to reason.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rotorwings on July 5, 2013
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
Essentially the theme of this documentary is that female soldiers were needed to fight in combat but Congress had not authorized, nor recognized their integral role. Having not recognized their role, the women had not had access to the proper training. It followed one woman more than the others and she struggled with PTSD after one particular combat incident. Fortunately the ban has been lifted and many combat positions, overtime, will be open to women.

One of the opening scenes was disturbing. Not sure if the filmmakers included it to demonstrate the diregard for life that can come from a combat tour. The filmmakers could have done a better job of following and incorporating the other woman's stories. At times the documentary lacked flow and direction.

In order for our military to function at an elite level women need to be officially trained and prepared to fight in combat roles. This is a no brainer. However, more women will suffer and be unable to reach their potential as soldiers if the military does not address and change the culture of sexual violence (the film does not address this issue, just my opinion).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert T. Hawkins on September 21, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This is an excellent documentary video which seems to accurately present the involvement of female members of our armed forces in combat in Afghanistan, from the time they deploy until they return and transition back to their non-military lives. Although it depicts a struggle, both related to the external pressures of war and to their internal strengths and values, the film demonstrates the heroic and positive manner that they performed in combat. The film should help citizens who have not experienced combat to better understand how difficult and long-term the transition is, following return from a combat zone. It should be noted that male military members experience very similar situations.
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