Assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moise Getting Doc From ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Filmmaker Raoul Peck

Raoul Peck, the Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind 2016’s I Am Not Your Negro, is in production on his latest documentary, an investigation into the 2021 assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise.

Tentatively titled The Hands That Held the Knives, Peck is not only directing but producing the film under his Velvet Films banner alongside Jigsaw Productions, with Imagine Documentaries, Anonymous Content, and Double Agent, who are also financing the project.

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Peck’s take is being described as a “documentary thriller, in the tradition of Graham Greene or John Le Carré.” Per Monday’s announcement, Peck is going deep into the politics of Haiti, its relationship with the United States, and the corrupt business empires and criminal organizations that have now rendered the country a hellscape for its citizens.

The film will take audiences right up to the present moment, per the producers, “as ruthless gangs backed by oligarchs with well-paid lobbyists in Washington, D.C. now control 80% of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.”

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere that has been beset by dictatorships, political unrest and earthquakes, is once again destabilized not only due to Moise’s assassination but the rise and control of violent gangs. The current prime minister, Ariel Henry, is currently stuck in Puerto Rico.

“I am eager to tell my country’s real story beyond the usual exotic clichés and preposterous clickbait,” said Peck in a statement. “I want to reveal for once, without holding back, the core stories and real reasons for Haiti’s tragic situation.”

Peck has been working on the movie over two years now, with apparently unprecedented access to many of those involved, and including secret filming in Haiti’s prisons and an unexpected encounter with a fugitive who was an eyewitness to the murder, according to the producers.

Editing is underway and shooting continues in Haiti, the U.S., Canada, France and North Africa, following the tracks of those involved.

Gibney is producing for Jigsaw. Blair Foster is also producing. Sara Bernstein is executive producing on behalf of Imagine. Anonymous Content’s Nick Shumaker also produces, with David Levine and Jessica Grimshaw executive producing. Dana O’Keefe produces on behalf of Double Agent, with Teddy Schwarzman, Yariv Milchan and Michael Heimler executive producing.

This is a story that only Raoul Peck can tell,” says Gibney. “A former Minister of Culture in Haiti, Raoul has been in the belly of the beast of Haiti’s politics and is the only filmmaker alive with the knowledge of the country and the extraordinary skill as a filmmaker to be able to tell this tale, which has global implications, as governments fall, one by one, to the ruthless pursuit of money and power.”

AC Independent, Double Agent and Range Media Partners are representing worldwide sales rights.

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