It doesn’t surprise me that American women on active duty in Iraq are also actively engaged in combat. These women are known as Team Lioness. Initially their assignment was to exercise cultural sensitivity i.e. search and engage Iraqi women, where men are prohibited, by custom, not to go. Being on the move with active combat units the Lioness women are forced into battle even though they didn’t receive the identical training of their male counterparts. It’s a kill or be killed proposition. So the surprise for me was learning that to this day official U.S. military policy prohibits women from engaging in active combat. The debate continues on that topic as with the war/occupation itself.

I’ll be facilitating two FREE screenings starting next Sunday (in DC) of a ground breaking documentary by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers titled LIONESS. There will be other public screenings nationwide as part of Community Cinema, ITVS’s outreach initiative for the PBS series Independent Lens. LIONESS will have its television premiere on Independent Lens in November. [check local listings]

Regardless of your position on the Iraq war, this is a must see film. I do want to make a note of intense combat footage from Iraq, the first I’ve ever seen olf its kind which speaks to the lack of information coming from embedded media sources.

For the most part we see these five women at home readjusting to civilian life after their tour of duty; obviously for some it is more difficult than for others.

Sunday, October 12 at 5 PM
Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th Street, NW

Sunday, October 19 at 3 PM
The Washington DC Jewish Community Center
1529 16th Street, NW

Reserve: or call 202-939-0794.

Be sure to check out the Community Cinema [DC]website for the list of speakers for these screenings from the Center for Women at the Veterans Administration, Disabled American Veterans, and the Office of Veterans Affairs for the District of Columbia.

The filmmakers also have a website:

Here’s a trailer: