Anastasion a.o.: Redemption of General Butt Naked

Quite a shocking film it is. Protagonist: A warlord who during the Liberia civil/tribal war ran around slaughtering anyone near him, yes naked he was, surrounding himself with child soldiers ”educated” through Rambo films, has now found God, preaching reconciliation, goes around to find his victims, or relatives to those who were his victims, asking for forgiveness. He is given amnesty at the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Committee), flees the country and his family because of death threats, but comes back to continue his mission.

Archive footage shows the horrible, almost unwatchable images of  massacres, he performed (he says himself that he thinks he and his gang was responsible for the death of 20.000 people!), mixed with interviews with him, observations of his preaching performances in and outside churches, building up stories about him and (one example) ”the Senegalese”, who had his legs amputated but forgives Joshua, the new name of General Butt.

He is not at all sympathetic, he seems to be a man, who could go back to killing any other moment, but he is now using his extraordinary energy in preaching. As a viewer you are fascinated by a story that is so well told with emotional attachment to some of the victims, and sympathy for his wife, who says nice things about her husband but at the end of the film admits that she is tired of being married to him!

”Modern” documentary: character driven, strong (an understatement!) narrative, but also balanced in tone letting the viewer think for him/herself.  

Part of the Free Thought documentary programme at the 33st Moscow International Film Festival Programme. 

Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion: “Redemption of General Butt Naked”, USA, 2011, 84 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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