Join us on Women Veterans Day June 12 for a screening of the documentary Lioness about the first women sent into combat with US forces in 2003-2004. After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, filmmakers Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers tracked a group of Army soldiers who became known as Team Lioness. They fought alongside the Marines in some of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war.

We’ll screen the film and then talk with Daria about what she learned in making it.

The screening coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the armed forces. Prior to 1948, most women only served in times of war.

Lioness presents the untold story of the first group of women in U.S. history to be sent into direct ground combat, in violation of official policy. Told through intimate accounts, journal excerpts, archival footage, as well as interviews with military commanders, the film follows five women who served together for a year in Iraq. Their candid narratives of fighting in some of the bloodiest counterinsurgency battles form a portrait of the emotional and psychological effects of war from a female point of view.

Lioness is the first film to bridge the gap between the perception and the reality of the role military women are playing in Iraq.

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