Film Screening and Discussion: Documentary of Extraordinary Liberian Women

Pray the Devil Back to Hell Image

Sept. 13, 2013                      

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — On Thursday, September 26, Illinois Wesleyan University’s International Film Series and Evelyn Chapel’s Multifaith Ambassadors will partner in the screening of the award-winning Brazilian documentary, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell.” The film will be shown at 7:00 p.m. at Beckman Auditorium in The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington) and will be followed by a discussion. The event is free and open to the public.

Director Gini Reticker’s 2008 documentary follows a courageous group of Liberian women who stood up for peace in their efforts to end the Second Liberian War. The war began in 1993 when two rebel groups violently emerged in opposition to the corrupt and repressing Liberian government. By mid-2003, the country’s capital, Monrovia, became a cataclysm of war.    

The film documents the thousands of women of all ages, both Christian and Muslim, who came together in the midst of a turbulent battle. The women prayed for peace and staged a silent protest in hopes of bringing about an agreement to end the war. Praised as “uplifting, disheartening, inspiring, enraging,” by The New York Times, the film shows how grassroots activism can be a crucial element in the fight for peace.

Reticker’s film was the recipient of multiple awards, including Best Documentary Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. Leymah Gbowee, one of the activists featured in the film, received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, and Tawakkul Karman, fellow activist, journalist and politician. According to the Norwegian Nobel Prize officials, the women were honored “for their nonviolent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”

For additional information contact the Office of Communications at (309) 556-3181.

Contact: Tia Patsavas ‘16 (309) 556-3181,