Abigail Disney founded Peace is Loud in 2009 after producing her first film, the award-winning documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell. The film, directed by renowned filmmaker Gini Reticker, tells the story of the Liberian women who came together to end their country’s brutal civil war and bring peace to their shattered nation.
The film’s first official screening, held a month before its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival, was in the mountain town of Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina. That first audience was a group of 50 women who had survived the Bosnian genocide a decade earlier. Despite the differences between their two countries, these women saw themselves in the Liberian peacemakers onscreen. Inspired by the film, they met with their mayor and demanded that women be included in the city’s reconciliation and rebuilding efforts—an unprecedented and audacious act. Since then, the film has been shown at hundreds of screenings across the U.S. and around the world, galvanizing audiences to re-envision their own capacity as peacebuilders.
The generative forces behind the making of the film and impact it has had on viewers continue to motivate us today: Frustration—that the story of the brave and visionary women in Liberia who joined forces to end a bloody civil war was at risk of being lost in the official records of history. Hope—that by sharing their story, we would honor the strength and perseverance of these women—ordinary mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters, both Christian and Muslim. Conviction—that their experiences, and others like them, can trigger a groundswell of peacebuilding worldwide.