Academy’s Contemporary Documentaries Series Spotlights Brave Women during Wartime

Beverly Hills, CA (November 4, 2009) — “Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh” and “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” will screen as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series on Wednesday, November 11, at 7 p.m. at the Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. Admission is free.

“Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh” recounts the story of poet, diarist and paratrooper Hannah Senesh, whose bravery and heroism are revealed through eyewitness accounts and her own words describing her role in the only military rescue mission for Jews during the Holocaust. The documentary was directed by Roberta Grossman and produced by Grossman and Lisa Thomas. Grossman will be present to take questions from the audience following the screening.

Directed by Gini Reticker and produced by Abigail E. Disney, “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” chronicles the story of women in Liberia who mounted a peaceful campaign against the country’s bloody civil war. Proving that nonviolent protest can still effect change, demonstrators gathered daily in the central market area of Monrovia, and later staged a sit-in at the location of peace talks in Ghana. This grassroots effort by women of different backgrounds, ages and religions got warlords to listen, and helped transform Liberia.

The 28th annual “Contemporary Documentaries” series is a showcase for feature-length and short documentaries drawn from the 2008 Academy Award® nominations, including the winners, as well as other important and innovative films considered by the Academy that year.

All films will screen at the Linwood Dunn Theater at the Academy’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., except for the IMAX presentations on December 9. Filmmakers will be present at screenings whenever possible. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seating is unreserved.

The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. Free parking is available through the entrance on Homewood Avenue (one block north of Fountain Avenue). For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

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Natalie Kojen

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