Posts Tagged Lioness

Women’s History Month: Documentaries about Women

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Bhutto [2010]
–riveting, inspirational and moving documentary of the recently assassinated Benazir Bhutto who fought for democracy in Pakistan.

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The Business of Being Born [2008]
–Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein investigate maternity care in the United States. fascinating whether you have children or not or plan to have children or not.

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Venus and Serena [2012]
–engrossing documentary about top two tennis players in the world

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What I Want My Words to Do to You [2003]
–A look at playwright Eve Ensler’s writing workshop inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. intense. emotional.

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Shut up and Sing [2006]
–the aftermath for the Dixie Chicks after Natalie Maines’ anti-George W. Bush statement at a 2003 concert.

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Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer [2013]
–the story of the trial of the three Russian feminist punk singers/ performance artists on trial for a satirical performance in a Moscow cathedral.

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Very Young Girls [2007]
–disturbing and hopeful film about Rachel Lloyd, a former sexually exploited youth-turned-activist, who started the New York City organization GEMS (Girls Educational and Mentoring Services) to help victimized young women escape their pimps and find another way of life.

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Lioness [2008]
–The untold story of the first women in U.S. history to be sent into direct ground combat.

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Searching for Debra Winger [2002]
–Rosanna Arquette directs this honest and important film about Hollywood sexism and ageism and why there aren’t very many good roles for women over the age of 35.

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The Punk Singer [2013]
–look at the life of activist, musician, and cultural icon Kathleen Hanna, who formed the punk band Bikini Kill and pioneered the “riot grrrl” movement of the 1990s.

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Ballerina [2006]
–follows dancers at all levels of their careers through practice and performances.

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DVD review: Lioness

Lioness brought tears to my eyes and also warmed my heart. It focuses on five Army women serving in Iraq. Coming from all different backgrounds, these women have one commonality: military service and Iraq. The lioness tag. This means that they are the first women in U.S. military history to be sent into direct ground combat. As the documentary unfolds, it shows that these women’s services are absolutely integral to the success of the U.S. military. A plethora of Iraq War documentaries are out there. What makes this any different? Most of those tell men’s stories or from men’s viewpoints.

Lioness is the story you have yet to hear. The women are remarkable and winning. They provide a revealing perspective on the Iraq War. There’s redneck Shannon, the most affected by her tour of duty. She’s on meds and shooting turtles in the swamps of Arkansas. In a telling moment she remarks, “I really wish I had kinda lost my mind or something . . . I lost a part of me.” The film nicely introduces each woman and then tells the often uncomfortable, upsetting and maddening story of their military service. This is the untold story of Iraq.

Lioness is a phenomenal tour-de-force from directors Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers. It is a vital, potent film that illuminates another aspect of the war through women’s voices. Ones that are not often heard.

Grade: B+

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