Hot Docs: Highlights from North America's Biggest Documentary Film Festival

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.


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  • Michael Koh

    Cool trailers bro

  • scin

    love toronto stuff on this site!

  • Erin Pehlivan

    Wow, very impressed to see Hot Docs coverage on Thought Catalog. It's all I read when I worked at the box office this year. Two worlds collide! I definitely agree with choosing RESURRECT DEAD as a highlight. You must see POSITION AMONG THE STARS though, it is probably one of my favourite documentaries of all time. Those were two of my favourites this year. I saw 45 docs in total. Thanks for the coverage!

  • Asdf

    it manages to be boring. all of it. go figure.

    • Alyssa Johnston

      Yeah totally. Fuck everything. The world is so passe.

  • Dan

    lol about it not being hard to make toronto look like a soviet coal town, it does have a high Russian immigrant population actually.

  • adamhump

    thanks for this katie :)

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