Pray the Devil Back to Hell

Critics Consensus

This political documentary about protests during the Liberian Civil War is an uplifting celebration of the capacity of everyday people to affect great change.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,221

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Movie Info

This documentary chronicles social unrest in the West African Republic of Liberia, where civil war has torn the nation apart and left hundreds of thousands dead or displaced. The film reconstructs the way this tragedy galvanized a coalition of Christian and Muslim women to rise up and, through nonviolent tactics, put pressure on their government to pursue peace talks. Director Gini Reticker follows their grassroots moment as it leads to democratic elections and Liberia's first female president.

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Critic Reviews for Pray the Devil Back to Hell

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (36)

  • The film is brief and not especially creative in its storytelling, but nonetheless unforgettable; this remarkable story deserved to be captured on film.

    February 5, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • This illuminating film by director Gini Reticker and producer Abigail Disney is a much-needed attempt to put the spotlight on a moment of history that still inspires.

    December 12, 2008 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A modest but effective work of documentary uplift.

    December 5, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Pray the Devil Back to Hell is at once inspiring and horrific.

    November 26, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Pray the Devil uses its brief 72 minutes to tell one of the truly heartening international political stories of recent years.

    November 14, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Relates a powerful story with intelligence, concision and a minimum of distracting stylistic flourishes.

    November 13, 2008

Audience Reviews for Pray the Devil Back to Hell

  • Oct 16, 2010
    No, "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" is not the title of Wes Craven's latest film. Rather, it is a documentary where the horrors are all too real in the brutal Liberian Civil War, started in 1989 to oust tyrannical President Charles Taylor by force. Both sides commit atrocities which include the raping of women and conscripting of child soldiers. Tired of suffering and watching their children die of malnutrition, in 2003 the women of Liberia organize the Christian Women's Peace Initiative, joining with Muslim women in a momentous display of unity. They practice peaceful protests to get the attention of Taylor. After that, the women deploy their own nuclear option, a sex strike to further get the attention of the men who they feel are guilty by either commission or omission. These actions eventually lead to Taylor going into exile and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first woman elected as president in Africa. In the end, while the documentary may occasionally lose its focus, it never loses its power in showing a bad peace can be better than a war.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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