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I have probably never been prouder to be a member of the female persuasion than when I watched the women in “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” at a screening two summers ago. To see the power of ordinary women banding together to change their country forever is one of the most inspiring stories I have ever seen. The fact that it has taken so long for this to make it to DVD after mainly being released on the festival circuit is some kind of cinematic indictment of both movie makers and movie goers. Surely “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” which traces the journey of a group of Christian and Muslim women who come together to stop the ravages of war in Liberia, deserves far more attention than it has received.
How did they convince their men to stop killing each other and how did they get the leader of their nation to listen to them? Well, they prayed about it. And they withheld their wifely duties from their husbands. It might sound like a pretty basic one-two punch, but these women succeeded where the United Nations couldn’t ,so that makes “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” my DVD pick of the week.


The documentary focuses in the Second Liberian Civil War and focuses primarily on Leymah Gbowee , a woman who grew up watching the horrors of this civil unrest, who begins to form a peace movement with other women n her church. She eventually expands the group of women to include Muslims, a surprising achievement in itself.
The group slowly gained media attention for their peaceful protests and their hours of ceaseless prayer, even as their actions meant they were putting their lives in danger. In due time, they are even able to finally get an audience with Taylor’s regime and they become part of Liberian history as circumstances finally align to topple Charles Taylor from power.
If you don’t find that inspiring enough, well, in a movie moment that screams of poetic justice, the documentary ends with the women continuing to meet and pray after Taylor’s exit until 2005 when the country elected a new president, the first woman head of state in Africa, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
If such pure feminist and spiritial ideals inspire you as they do me, then after watching this dvd consider visitng the Peace is Loud website and getting involved in the ongoing movement of women to find effective and preaceful resolution in war-torm areas of the world.

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