We were very happy to hear about the three newest recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize last Friday, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Tawakkul Karman, and Leymah Gbowee. We extend congratulations to them all.
Ms. Gbowee, a leader in a women’s movement calling for lasting peace in her country of Liberia, was the subject of an award-winning documentary. The film, called “Pray the Devil Back to Hell,” was directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail Disney. I had the pleasure of awarding the 2008 WITNESS Award at Silverdocs Documentary Festival to the film. The filmmakers and their team screened the doc in hundreds of venues, in dozens of countries throughout the world, sparking discussion about conflicts large and small in each of those communities. I am personally inspired by the example of Ms. Gbowee and her fellow activists, not just for the work they did in Liberia, but for agreeing to be followed by a film crew for the many months of filming and for her willingness to share her story (which like many places in the world, could have had grave consequences for her safety and security).
After the Silverdocs awards ceremony in 2008, I caught up with Abigail for a short interview about the film. Though the interview was conducted three years before the Nobel Peace Prize for 2011 was announced, I think her closing statement in the interview is right on: “We really think this film is going to make a difference in the world.”
Watch the short interview here, and congratulations again to these amazing women!