Monday, August 3, 2015

Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Reticker, 2008): Mini-Film Review

Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a powerful documentary that won the 2008 Tribeca Film Fest Best Documentary award, and the reasons it achieved such a positive response have not lost their relevance since that time. The film depicts and recounts harrowing experiences during civil war in the West African Republic of Liberia, and consistently evokes passionate responses from audiences (including students who write about the film in either my World Cinema or World Drama and Poetry courses alongside readings by poet Patricia Jabbeh Wesley).

The film focuses on women who describe the nonviolent strategies they used to demand change from the men in charge and why the existing political paradigm was long overdue for replacement. Solidarity among women of Liberia who oppose civil war, and the objectives for peace that they achieve across seemingly insurmountable gender, generational, ethnic, and party lines are inspirational due to both the sacrifices they endure and the ends they achieve. The story helps one understand the background to the election of Africa's first female president, and it is also a story that will hopefully continue to inspire grassroots efforts wherever the film is screened.

Pray the Devil Back to Hell trailer uploaded to YouTube by "Peace is Loud"

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