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Pray the Devil Back to Hell

A moving historical documentary
By GERALD PEARY  |  December 5, 2008
3.5 3.5 Stars


Remember the old "essentialist" argument that women are by nature pacifist and nurturing whereas men are aggressive and warlike? Never has that thesis seemed so credible as it does in this moving documentary about the tumultuous recent history of Liberia made by an all-female crew led by director Gini Reticker.

It's an amazing story: in 2005 a courageous union of Muslim and Christian women, sickened and horrified by an endless civil war of trigger-happy rapists and marauders, forced the bullying, swaggering all-male politicians and warlords to the peace table.

"The devil" of the title? Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, a professed Christian who thought himself the new Messiah. Given a non-violent push from Liberia's women, the not-so-immortal Taylor fled to Nigerian exile.

72 minutes | Coolidge Corner Theatre

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