Pray the Devil Back to Hell | Chicago Reader

Pray the Devil Back to Hell

A rose blooming in a boneyard, the women's peace movement in Liberia helped shut down a 14-year civil war that had claimed more than 200,000 lives, with gangs of armed men and boys engaging in rape, murder, and mutilation. “Liberia had been at war so long that my children had been hungry and afraid their entire lives,” remembers Leymah Gbowee, one of the heroic women interviewed in this fleet, gripping documentary. Working through her church, Gbowee helped found the Women's Peace Building Network, which united Christians and Muslims in a prolonged campaign of sit-ins, pressure on religious leaders, and even a Lysistrata-style sex strike to force a settlement between rebel warlords and Liberia's ruthless president, Charles Taylor. To their credit, the women continued to organize even after Taylor was exiled and a UN peacekeeping force moved in, and in 2005 Liberia elected Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf the first woman president of an African nation. Gini Reticker directed, and Abigail Disney produced. 72 min.


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