A Warlord’s Quest for Forgiveness Explored in ‘The Redemption of General Butt Naked’

BY Saskia De Melker and Jeffrey Brown  December 19, 2011 at 12:26 PM EST

On Tuesday’s NewsHour broadcast, an excerpt from the new documentary, “The Redemption of General Butt Naked,” will air as part of our partnership with The Economist Film Project.

The documentary follows Joshua Milton Blahyi — formerly known as General Butt Naked — a brutal African warlord, responsible for the deaths of thousands, who has renounced his violent past and reinvented himself as a Christian evangelist.

Today, Blahyi travels the nation of Liberia as a preacher, seeking out those he once victimized in search of an uncertain forgiveness and a new place in his society.

Filmmakers Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion track his often-troubling path up close, finding both the genuine and disconcerting in Blahyi’s efforts, raising questions about the limits of faith and forgiveness in the absence of justice.

This is the first feature film for both Strauss and Anastasion, who have worked for years on documentaries for National Geographic. They recently stopped by the NewsHour to talk about their five-year journey making the film.

“The Redemption of General Butt Naked” will air on the Documentary Channel on Jan. 22.