Iron Ladies of Liberia

Director: Daniel Junge and Siatta Scott Johnson
Country: Liberia and USA
Year: 2007
Running Time: 77 min
Language: English

After fourteen years of civil war, Liberia is a nation ready for change. On January 16, 2006, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was inaugurated President, following a hotly contested election which she won with the overwhelming support across Liberia. She becomes the first elected female head of state in Africa. Since taking office she has appointed other extraordinary women to leadership positions in all areas of government, including the Police Chief and the ministers of Justice, Commerce and Finance. Can the first female Liberian president, backed by other powerful women, bring sustainable democracy and peace to such a devastated country and faces the constant threat that deposed President Charles Taylor might return? Iron Ladies of Liberia gives behind-the-scenes access to President Sirleaf’s first year in government, providing a unique insight into the workings of a newly elected African cabinet.

About the Director

Daniel Junge and Siatta Scott Johnson

Daniel-JungeBiography: Daniel Junge is an Oscar award winning documentary filmmaker. His first feature-length film, Chiefs, won the Grand Jury Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS. His subsequent feature, Iron Ladies of Liberia, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and aired on over 50 broadcasters worldwide including PBS and the BBC. They Killed Sister Dorothy, his third feature film, won the Audience and Grand Jury Prizes at the South by Southwest Film Festival before broadcasting on HBO and earning a 2010 Emmy nomination for Best Investigative Journalism. Junge’s film The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short in 2010. His film Saving Face, also for HBO, won Best Documentary Short in 2012. In 2012, he was extended a membership invitation to The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Junge is an alumnus of Cheyenne East High School and Colorado College.

siattaBiography: Siatta Scott Johnson was born in Buchanan, Liberia in 1974 and raised in rural Grand Bassa County. She fled Grand Bassa in the early 1990s with the outbreak of war and eventually settled in Monrovia, where she was living during the end of the civil war in 2003. Scott Johnson earned her B.A. in mass communications from the University of Liberia after the school re-opened following the war. She holds certificates in political reporting from the University of Liberia and in media from the Press Union of Liberia/UNMIL, and a diploma in journalism from the Liberia Institute of Journalism. She has several years of experience as a reporter and producer at DCTV, one of Liberia’s only broadcast television stations, and is a founding member of Omuahtee Africa Media.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Iron Ladies of Liberia (2008);
Come Back to Sudan (2009 – Patti Bonnet, Daniel Junge).

Chiefs (2002 – Daniel Junge);
We Are Phamaly (2003 – Daniel Junge);
Big Blue Bear (2005 – Daniel Junge);
Iron Ladies of Liberia (2007);
They Killed Sister Dorothy (2008 – Daniel Junge);
Come Back to Sudan (2008 – Patti Bonnet, Daniel Junge);
No Strings (2008 – Daniel Junge);
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner (2009 – Daniel Junge);
One Day (2011 – Daniel Junge);
Saving Face (2012 – Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy);
Fight Church (2012 – Daniel Junge, Bryan Storkel);
Alpha Boys (2013 – Daniel Junge).