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.