The Redemption of General Butt Naked dirs. Daniele Anastasion & Eric Strauss (USA, Georgia, Liberia)
After frittering away my Saturday morning watching a PTSD victim recover by swimming with dolphins for four years (in the sweet and hopeful Dolphin Boy), I got serious with The Redemption of General Butt Naked. Don’t laugh – he was a Liberian civil war general so insane he used to murder people in the buff. Now he’s an evangelical preacher, repenting left and right. But can we really trust him? He killed 20,000 people, by his own count. We were warned by the Hot Docs programmer that this would be a “really tough film,” and indeed I had my hand over my face while watching the scenes of carnage followed by those featuring the former general all but demanding forgiveness from his victims (those he left alive). Yet I’m glad I saw it, because themes of guilt, remorse, human monstrosity and survival deftly handled are always worth visiting. I’m also glad I don’t live in Liberia.