the state

– of holy mother. by vastate
Tuesday, 10 February 2009, 21:03
Filed under: -of civil rights, -of film, -of jhumphrey

wow.  a review from jen graves of the stranger:


Want something done? Call the women of Liberia. In the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, every few minutes brings a new chapter in their inspiring fight to end the civil war that ruined their lives for years: daughters raped, husbands’ heads gradually sawed off before their eyes, children nearly starved every day of their lives. Chapters build like the rising rhetoric of a great preacher moving toward a redemptive climax.

In 2002 the women join together, Muslims and Christians, and lobby their respective religious leaders against President Charles Taylor’s regime and the equally abusive opposing faction of rebel warlords. That failing, they stage a peaceful protest with dancing and singing in a field that they know the president drives by every day.

At home, the women go on a sex strike. They present a statement to Parliament and the president, demanding peace talks. When the peace talks—held in Ghana—languish and war at home escalates, the women rise up in Ghana. They join arms around the site to lock in the negotiators and threaten to strip naked (it is a curse to see your mother naked in Liberia)—and then, with the whole world watching, the men accept the women’s two-week deadline. Taylor goes into exile.

On the day the rebels’ boy fighters are to be disarmed by UN forces, a riot breaks out. The women break it up and oversee the UN disarmament themselves. “They are our mothers,” one boy says. The women stay vigilant: They oversee the runup to national democratic elections. In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is elected president of Liberia. She is the first woman to be elected head of state in Africa. The women of Liberia have rocked their entire continent.




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