Everyone has their deep dark secrets and skeletons in the closet and sometimes those secrets come back to haunt the people hiding them. Illina Calugareanu’s documentary, A Cops and Robbers Story, focuses on the life of Corey Pegues. Pegues went from working the streets to protecting the streets, but that past was always hidden from people within his more recent profession. The documentary takes a little too long to introduce the purpose of what it means to do. Thus, it has a more biographical aspect into Pegues’ life. It’s less, then, about why the audience should necessarily care about him and what he’s doing.
How could a former drug dealer, who was near the top of the food chain for one of the most notorious gangs, Supreme Team in the 1980s, become an officer of the NYPD? This is addressed later on in the documentary. This narrative decision leaves the audience wondering why he is a subject of interest and moreover why Calugareanu decided to put Pegues in front of the camera. However, it picks up and shows the true troubles that Pegues faced in his earlier life. It then shows how he managed to turn it around and make an honourable name for himself. That’s when things started to really pick up for the audience.
It is no secret that it is a dangerous life to sell drugs on the street and to be a part of a notorious gang, there is no shock there. However, he manages to escape that life and become a tenured NYPD officer. He accomplished this while hiding this past from the NYPD, which is truly a surprising feet. As the documentary continues its path, it reveals that his past did make its way to the forefront. It also further questions whether his past makes it harder for him to be on the right side of the law.
When Pegues came clean about his past, the documentary makes a much more interesting take and becomes all the more engaging. Is it truly possible for someone to leave that dark of a past behind? To put himself in a position of power and responsibility? Is it alright for that person to use the shortcuts the police take to get unwarranted searches and then arrests? It eventually touches on the subject being on both sides of the law at different points in his life.
And it raises the question of whether he is a responsible person. Or one who just wanted to leave his past behind him and make better decisions moving forward. The documentary lacks a clear direction, as it is more straight biographical. It takes time to raise the important questions and topics regarding the subject’s choices and new release on life. But it definitely poses the question that will linger with the audience after the credits roll.
- Release Date: 2/2/2022