A difficult and emotional doc about a bike rider who was molested and needs to spread the word about it.
We meet Dave Ohlmuller, who was molested by Catholic priest Mitch Walters as a child, and has been left in a state of depression. He finds a way to better his life and the lives of other people. He trains to ride his bike from Chicago to Montclair, NJ to raise awareness on sexual abuse. It would just be him riding his bike with a cameraman documenting his journey. Hence the name: “A Peloton of One.”
There are bumps along the way, but he makes the best of time. A bike chain gets loose, so he has to get help to fix it. He stops for a little basketball game, he goes to a local bike shop to get a tuneup for his bike, and eventually get his tube replaced when he gets to New Jersey.
But the story isn’t about him. Other survivors in his documentary include triathlete Ken Kaczmarz, who tried to sue his disgusting priest, went on the support group SNAP, and learned about another pedophile in the Shedd Aquarium.
There’s also the teacher Danielle Polemeni, who was an alter girl in the same parish as Dave, and also violated by Mitch Walters. It wasn’t just boys, but also girls as well. Even worse, her family blamed her for her abuse. Parents of the year. But she had a sign of hope when she heard about Dave’s case against Mitch. They support each other through and through.
And there’s also a kid who wants to convince any senator to approve true victim’s right to closure. He also acknowledges about how kids are vulnerable to adults, and are helpless, but have voices to speak their minds. He was also sexually assaulted and raped by his half brother, who also attacked his cousins in the same way. He was at the age between 8-10. Only his mother believed him, and went to the state troopers. Now that’s a loving mother.
Some of the victims contemplate or commit suicide, and they struggle to get their stories out there, and you’re repulsed at how the unholy men violate these innocent people. Some of them are drugged into being violated. Some of them were gay, and considered unholy, because you know how religious groups are. It’s amazing that Catholic Priests can violate children, and yet other churches can damn homosexuals. How nice.
“A Peloton of One” told me to not consider these people as victims, but as survivors, because they still suffer from the nightmares, and yet, they manage to overcome the obstacles. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I can imagine their pain and tragedy, because I was never molested. I dont say this to brag; I saw it to acknowledge how lucky I was. Some of us were lucky, but others aren’t, and we need to show as much respect for them as possible.
The documentary drags off at times, but throughout this experience, we feel horrible for the survivors and motivated by how Dave wanted to raise awareness about child sexual abuse through his bike. If Forrest Gump to jog cross country (even though that was a movie), he can ride his way through courage and determination. It deals with a number of topics regarding the same problem, and it’s a sad movie for expressing them.
#MeToo would have been inspired by this documentary, and I should hope so.
In Virtual Theaters This Thursday at
Streaming On Demand March 11