Today was absolutely great day for lots of things: my job search, my networking skills, and even homework! Today’s post is about the movie I watched: Pray the Devil Back to Hell. But first, a recap of the day!
This morning I went to the career class offered by my graduate school. It was probably the most beneficial class I’ve been to thus far for the class, and I will post a recap of what we learned from it either tomorrow or Wednesday. It was about networking and how to present your “elevator speech” when you network. A lot of things we learned about in class today, I already knew. My Mom is quite possibly the best person EVER at networking, and I have learned so much from her over my entire lifetime.
Things that come naturally to me because of what my Mom taught me obviously do not come so easily to other people, as I learned in class today. For example, we talked about how to act when attending conferences or other events where you have to network. One student raised her hand and asked “After I introduce myself, the conversation just seems to die.” What seemed to be an easy answer to me (smile, keep talking, ask questions about the other person’s background, etc.) were actually like foreign concepts to many people in the class.
Another thing that a lot of people didn’t seem to know was how important it is to stay in touch with previous contacts, even if you don’t think you will “need” them anymore. As my Mom always said while I was growing up, you never “burn bridges” and you always keep in touch, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them, how far away they are, or however much you think you don’t “need” them.
Of course, I also learned a lot of valuable info from today’s career class, especially about the “six degrees of separation” in networking. I won’t elaborate too much in this post, but I do realize I have to use LinkedIn a LOT more than I do right now!
Anyway, about the movie… Students for Africa, a student organization on campus, was screening the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell today. They advertised it last week, and the movie has received positive reviews from a few people I follow on Twitter, so I decided it would be a worthy film to see.
The movie follows Liberian women in 2000-2003 during a period of intense fighting between Charles Taylor (the leader/dictator of Liberia) and warlords in the country side. The country has been embroiled in war since 1989, but it continues to get worse when, in the 2000s, the women decide to stage a peaceful protest, demanding an end to “suffering, war, and rape.”
The women in Liberia are from different religions, but they all are willing to do literally anything to bring peace to their country. They eventually force the warlords and Charles Taylor’s regime to get together in Ghana for peace talks, which does come to some fruition.
The thing I liked most about this movie was how determined the women were in bringing peace to their country. These women faced overwhelming obstacles and danger to commit to a peace protest like this, and many of the women had already been brutalized in so many different ways. Yet they demanded, and brought about, a significant change in Liberia. In fact, the women did not just abandon the cause after the peace talks either. They rallied and voted women into office in the new democracy. In fact, Liberia elected the first female president, Madame Sirleaf, in 2005!
It was an extremely worthwhile documentary. It does not lean towards the “heavy” side too much, and by heavy I mean overwhelmingly depressing. Of course, you can’t escape the violence and abuse and death in this documentary, but this documentary is more about hope and what hope plus determination can achieve for women.
I think everyone who is interested in international affairs or women’s rights should see this! It is an excellent documentary that has something for everyone.