Director: Hawa Essuman, Anjali Nayar | Countries of production: Canada, Kenya, South Africa | Year: 2017 | Length: 80 min
Language: English with English subtitles | Age: 8+ years

“When they tear down the trees and strip the land, they tear down our people and strip away their lives.”

In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf became Africa’s first elected female head of state. Fêted as an anti-corruption champion in the West, she brought Liberians new hope after decades of civil war. For activist Silas Siakor, who had spent years exposing links between illegal logging and the previous regime’s brutal dictatorship, this optimism was sadly short lived. Evidence soon emerged that corruption and illegal logging were continuing to thrive, with multinational corporations covertly acquiring over 50% of Liberia’s forests, often forcing tribes off their ancestral lands, in a web of nepotism and corruption that went to the very heart of government.

Silas captures its protagonist’s battle to expose and crush environmental destruction, paying tribute to his commitment and to the many communities emboldened to seize back control of their lands.

This film received support from the IDFA Bertha Fund.

“A beautifully rendered portrait of an activist striving to change the world” – POV magazine

Official Selection, IDFA

Official Selection, Hot Docs

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