Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
American documentary filmmaker Daniel Junge and Liberian journalist Siatta Scott Johnson followed Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf throughout her day-to-day work in her first year of office. Johnson-Sirleaf was the first democratically elected female president in the nation’s history, here taking on a corrupted and nearly destitute government that has been ruined by over a decade of civil war and dictatorship under Charles Taylor. Once in power, she is faced with Liberia’s magnificent national debt, the poverty and unemployment of 90% of her population and the threat that Taylor might return from exile in Nigeria and begin a rebellion against her. This excellent, if sometimes shallow, documentary is precise and informative, never ruminating on any aspect of its information for too long before continuing into yet another conundrum that this very impressive woman has to face. Along the way it also examines the work of the country’s chief of police, who is having to clean up the city’s crime as well as impose new laws of general order, and Scott Johnson herself, who reports on the changes in the country under its new leader as well as shares her own experiences of it.
Toronto International Film Festival: 2007