Mission Peace: The Staunch Moderates Documentary (2023) Film Review
A movement about bringing people back together.
This is how the sociopolitical movement the Staunch Moderates is referred to in the documentary Mission Peace: The Staunch Moderates Documentary, and honestly, it’s hard to argue against that once credits roll. Beyond what you may see from a first glimpse, there’s something worth discussing here. If you think a low-budget documentary doesn’t speak of the seriousness of what could be a potential political approach based on peaceful agreement, just check out the current political landscape. You can even go worldwide. You will find the extreme sides, which for some reason are the most popular ones, have also a shade of ridiculousness shadowing their leaders, followers and ideas.
This isn’t just a random and educational documentary, because the Staunch Moderates are anything but the average political movement you can find out there. This is how an idea is born, and a very good one for that matter, and sometimes a homemade documentary represents a great place to start making people notice you. It’s exactly what Greg Simmons sets out to do and accomplishes with his supercut of discussions, talking-head interviews, stock footage, and cheesy effects. The film takes place as Simmons gets an idea to form a intellectual movement during 2020, a crucial year in US politics because of the Biden v. Trump election. What came after was a strange sort of lobbying that brought Simmons and some ideological peers together to represent a change in the political rift that got stronger and more dangerous that year.
Mission Peace: The Staunch Moderates Documentary is a chronicle about Simmons trying to spread what’s actually a fascinating theory. He takes the best of each ideology and comes up with a manifesto based on peace between parties, absolute truth, and non-manipulative stances. What do a former WWE legend and now rapper, a former TV star that was always under the shadow of stepping in when anger was thematic, and an Olympic athlete, have in common? Well, Simmons gathers some public figures and gets the credibility a regular Joe could get in case of coming up with a potential idea, but with a complete lack of political weight. It’s the reason why Mission Peace: The Staunch Moderates Documentary never strays from the slapstick frame that it begins with, and which riskily steps into tongue-in-cheek territory when it incorporates music, theatrics and characterizations that don’t necessarily help the cause.
However, the idea is there, and it should be planted like a seed using any means necessary. Simmons could be accused of being a clown with far too many theatrics, but one thing he certainly can’t be accused is of being a clown who doesn’t care. Because that’s exactly what’s there to get out of the film: Do you need anything but the need to care for everyone if you want to go into politics? The naive notion that Simmons seems to have is also used to put his message out there. There’s no complex vernacular, or impossible missions. There’s just a vision to lead by being able to recognize the differences between mindsets and meet together in a never-seen-before middle ground. Sounds absurd, yes. But it’s not more absurd than some of the things governments have used to convince people they’re the best in leading.