Advertisement

Director Raoul Peck’s Next Documentary Will Investigate 2021 Assassination of Haitian President

Filmmaker Raoul Peck’s next documentary will delve into the 2021 assassination of Haitian president Jovenel Moise. The film, tentatively titled “The Hands That Held the Knives,” has been in production for over two years.

The documentary will be a thriller “in the tradition of Graham Greene or John Le Carré,” according to a press release. It will offer access to people involved in the murder of Moise, who was shot inside his home in July 2021. It will also feature secret footage from Haiti’s prisons and an encounter with a fugitive who witnessed the killing.

More from Variety

“The Hands That Held the Knives” will attempt to unpack Haiti’s politics, its relationship with the United States, as well as corrupt business empires and criminal organizations that deal drugs and contraband throughout the Caribbean. Per the official announcement, “the film will take us right up to the present moment, 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.”

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

“I am eager to tell my country’s real story beyond the usual exotic clichés and preposterous clickbait,” says Peck, who was born in Port-au-Prince. “I want to reveal for once, without holding back, the core stories and real reasons for Haiti’s tragic situation.”

Peck served as Haiti’s minister of culture in the late 1990s. He has produced a number of political and historical documentaries, such as “I Am Not Your Negro,” “Silver Dollar Road” and the HBO miniseries about colonization and genocide “Exterminate All the Brutes.”

Along with directing, Peck is also producing the film under his Velvet Films banner alongside Jigsaw Productions. Imagine Documentaries, Anonymous Content and Double Agent are producing and financing the project.

Alex Gibney, the documentarian of the Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos expose “The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley,” “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” and “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room,” is producing for Jigsaw.

“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.”

Other producers include Blair Foster, Anonymous Content’s Nick Shumaker and Double Agent’s Dana O’Keefe. Executive producers are Imagine’s Sara Bernstein, Anonymous Content’s David Levine and Jessica Grimshaw, and Double Agent’s Teddy Schwarzman, Yariv Milchan and Michael Heimler.

AC Independent, Double Agent and Range Media Partners will represent worldwide sales rights.

Peck is represented by Jessica Lacy at Range Media Partners and Nina Shaw at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein Lezcano Bobb & Dang.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.