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It’s an alluring tale of power and intrigue, so it’s weird that it’s taken this long for someone to think up shooting a flick about the rise and fall of the Peaceoholics.
American University graduate student Michael Lindley says he and colleague Anthony Greene, of local indie film production company Silent Code Features, are ready to try. They’ve begun pre-production on what will likely be a 90-minute exploration of the gang intervention group’s saga. “It really is modern day fodder,” Greene says. “There’s money involved, there’s politics involved, there’s whole communities involved.”
Lindley, who’s directing, says the documentary will present the full account of what went down with the nonprofit, which was charged to race around the streets of D.C. defusing gang rivalries and halting retaliation shootings. For doing so, the Peaceoholics were shoveled millions in funding. That didn’t sit right with District journalist and watchdogs who believed the organization lacked oversight.
Lindley is lining up interviews for the doc (full disclosure: I’m scheduled to be interviewed, because Washington City Paper has covered the Peaceoholics ad nauseam) and has scored a sit down with one of the group’s founding members.
“Ron Moten is on board,” says Lindley. “He wants to be heard and seen.”
Moten, who recently decided to run for political office and who says over the phone that he’s currently on a spiritual retreat in a mountainous region he refuses to name, seems to be looking forward to his time on camera. He believes it’ll bring vindication: “They tried to say we spent money. We took money. Now they’ll have to exonerate us.” (Imagine that line in the Hollywood film trailer voiceover voice, and it’s got a certain ring to it.)
While a full exoneration might not seem likely to skeptics, the reputation of former Mayor Adrian Fenty has improved in light of scandals rocking Mayor Vince Gray‘s term. If Fenty might consider a comeback, it makes sense that Moten—who has always been his man on the street—would come along. Moten says he’s already noticed things turning around. “Everywhere I go, people apologize to us,” he says.
Lindley hopes to have the documentary shot and edited in under a year.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery