ALUMNI PROFILE"I try to live the vision of Soka. My life would be worthless if it wasn't dedicated to world peace and caring for other people." More
Class of 2006
International Day of Peace Film Showing - Pray the Devil Back to HellDate: 09.21.2009
Time: 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: Pauling Hall 216
International Day of Peace Film Showing - Pray the Devil Back to Hell, a film by Abigail E. Disney and Gini Reticker, Pauling Hall 216, 6:15 - 8:00 pm, Free. Presented by the International Studies Concentration at Soka University. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is the extraordinary story of a small band of Liberian women who came together in the midst of a bloody civil war, took on the violent warlords and corrupt Charles Taylor regime, and won a long-awaited peace for their shattered country in 2003. As the rebel noose tightened upon Monrovia, and peace talks faced collapse, the women of Liberia - Christian and Muslims united - formed a thin but unshakable white line between the opposing forces, and successfully demanded an end to the fighting- armed only with white T-shirts and the courage of their convictions.
The women of Liberia are living proof that moral courage and non-violent resistance can succeed, even where the best efforts of traditional diplomacy have failed. Their demonstrations culminated in the exile of Charles Taylor and the election of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa's first female head of state, and marked the vanguard of a new wave of women taking control of their political destiny around the world. This remarkable chapter of world history was on its way to being lost forever. The Liberian war and peace movement were largely ignored as the international press focused on Iraq. Moreover, the women's own modesty helped obscure this great accomplishment. Pray the Devil Back to Hell reconstructs the moment through interviews, archival footage and striking images of contemporary Liberia. It is compelling testimony to the potential of women worldwide to alter the history of nations.
Gini Reticker (Director) is an Emmy-winning, Academy Award-nominated documentary director and producer. She produced the Academy Award nominated short Asylum, and the Emmy nominated A Decade Under The Influence. Directing for the PBS Series Wide Angle, Reticker took home an Emmy and the Society for Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Ladies First, which focused on the role of women in rebuilding post-genocide Rwanda. In 2006, Reticker directed The Class of 2006, for Wide Angle, spotlighting the first fifty women in Morocco to graduate from an imam academy in Rabat. Her first film, The Heart of the Matter received the Sundance Freedom of Expression Award; Out of the Darkness: Women and Depression garnered both an Emmy and a Gracie Award. Before becoming a producer and director, Reticker worked as an editor on films including: Roger & Me; The Awful Truth: The Romantic Comedy, PBS American Cinema Series; and the Emmy-nominated Fire From the Mountain.
Abigail E. Disney (Producer) is a filmmaker. Her first film, the feature-length documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, tells the inspirational story of the women of Liberia and their efforts to bring peace to their broken nation after decades of destructive civil war. It is currently playing in theaters. She is also involved in producing a number of other documentaries with social themes, and is developing a four-hour project for WNET/Wide Angle called Women, War & Peace. Along with her husband, Pierre Hauser, Abigail is co-Founder and co-President of the Daphne Foundation, a progressive, social change foundation that makes grants to grassroots, community-based organizations working with low-income communities in New York City. Since 1991, the Daphne Foundation has made millions of dollars in grants in areas ranging from women's rights to AIDS advocacy, children's health, labor conditions, incarceration and community organizing. The Foundation provides ongoing general operating support to its grantees, along with grants for technical assistance, infrastructure improvement and resource development.
Abigail has spoken internationally to a wide variety of audiences on the changing face of philanthropy, women's leadership and the importance of living a life of engaged and intelligent volunteerism. Over the years Abigail has played a critical role in a number of different social and political organizations, including the New York Women's Foundation. She currently serves on the boards of the Roy Disney Family Foundation, the White House Project, the Global Fund for Women, and the Fund for the City of New York, as well as the advisory boards of a broad range of organizations working in the areas of poverty, women's issues, education and environment. And when the groundbreaking periodical Ms. Magazine was in danger of extinction, she worked with Gloria Steinem and a group of other passionate investors to form Liberty Media for Women to secure the fate of Ms. Magazine for future generations. Abigail also acts as Vice Chair of the board of Shamrock Holdings Incorporated. Shamrock Holdings is a professional investment company running five different funds that manage more than 1.5 billion dollars in assets for a diverse group of investors, as well as for the Roy Disney Family. Abigail received her Bachelors degree from Yale University, her Masters degree from Stanford University, and her Doctorate from Columbia University. While pursuing her Ph.D., Abigail taught English and American Literature at Iona College. She lives in New York with her husband and their four children, one dog, three cats, a fish, a rabbit and an immortal turtle named Alfred.
Kirsten Johnson's (Director of Photography) most recent film, Deadline, (co-directed with Katy Chevigny), premiered at Sundance in 2004 and was one of the first independent documentaries to be acquired by a major network (NBC). Her previous documentary as a director, Innocent Until Proven Guilty premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was broadcast on HBO in1999. As a cinematographer, she has worked with directors such as Raoul Peck, Barbara Kopple, Michael Moore, and Kirby Dick. Her cinematography is featured in Fahrenheit 9/11, Academy and Emmy Award-nominated Asylum, Emmy-winning Ladies First, and Sundance premiere documentaries, This Film is Not Rated, American Standoff, and Derrida. A solo show of her still photography, "Cabinet of Curiosity" was exhibited at The Miami Museum of Science, and a chapter is dedicated to her work in the recently published book, "The Art of the Documentary." She has traveled and worked extensively in 13 countries throughout Africa and 38 countries around the world.