Director: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion
Summary: Joshua Milton Blahyi, aka General Butt Naked, murdered thousands during Liberia’s horrific 14-year civil war. Today this once-brutal warlord has renounced his sadistic past and reinvented himself as evangelist Joshua Milton Blahyi. In a riveting cinema vérité journey that unfolds over the course of five years, filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion follow Blahyi’s unrelenting crusade to redeem his life. Facing those he once terrorized, preaching where he once murdered, Blahyi is on a quest to save his soul.
Can a man really change? Should we be judged by what we have done, or by who we are now? Whatever you make of him—liar or madman, charlatan or genuine repentant— General Butt Naked is certainly a mesmerizing character. Challenging our preconceived notions of evil, justice, and faith, this shocking story of one man’s remarkable journey will resonate with anyone who has ever questioned his or her capacity to forgive.
Excitement scale (1-10): 8 – With no trailer to watch, this film by two National Geographic veterans is knocked down a few pegs- only because I'm not sure what to expect. Cinema vérité style is never easy and today’s audiences are certainly less interested in it, but when it works, it works beautifully.