For decades, Washington DC has stood as a beacon for Black culture and community. Yet a breakneck wave of gentrification threatens this history. Go-Go City dives into this rich tapestry, exploring the culture and sound of the Washington, DC, as well as the forces of economic and cultural gentrification that stand to mute them. The film interweaves scenes of protest as displaced communities rally around the city’s beloved Go-Go music to retake the streets.

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"There's a sense of community. Everybody helping each other. I could get sick out here. We're close, we're not social distancing. But my people are suffering. I felt like it was my duty."
-Terrence, Protest Organizer


A 2019 NCRC study found that Washington DC faces that most rapid gentrification in the country. Go-Go City explores this displacement, with a focus on what’s at stake if Washington is white washed.


Filmed over the course of weeks on the frontlines of the protests, Go-Go City takes the viewer inside the protests that have been widely misrepresented and misunderstood.


"It makes you proud to say this is our music. I can't describe the feeling. It´s unreal."
- Sugar Bear



For over 40 years, the hypnotizing sound of Go-Go music has been the sound of Washington, DC. Go-Go City features legends in the genre, as well as up and coming bands, and the film follows along as the music becomes a tool to push back against gentrification, and ultimately, the soundtrack of the protest movement.

Presented By

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America (BFNA) is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges. Through research, debate forums, and multimedia productions, BFNA provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political and social challenges impacting the United States and Europe. To date, BFNA has produced more than 20 short- and feature-length films which have been recognized by film festivals around the world.


Edited by

Jeff Cook

Jeff Cook has specialized in video editing in a career that spans four decades. Cook’s work has attracted Cine Golden Eagles, Communicator Awards, Telly Awards, Monitor Awards, Peer Awards, and the first National Daytime Emmy Nomination for The Discovery Channel.

Filmed and Directed by

Samuel George

Samuel George is a documentary filmmaker and analyst for the Bertelsmann Foundation, focusing on the intersection of economics, politics, the digital revolution, and daily life. Filming on the ground from the Turkish – Syrian border to the factories of Juárez, Mexico, his documentaries dive inside the social impact of critical crossroads around the globe. His last film, Swing State Florida (Bertelsmann Foundation, 2020) won a series of awards including the Award of Excellence from the Impact DOCS Awards, the Silver Award at the Spotlight Documentary Film Awards, and Best Urban Documentary at the Urban Film Festival. He serves as the Foundation’s Global Markets & Digital Advisor, and is completing a PhD at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Produced by

Irene Braam

Irene Braam joined BFNA as Executive Director in April 2016. Since then she has overseen the transformation from a traditional Washington think tank to a pioneer in tackling complicated policy issues on film. During that time she executive produced 12 documentary films, and has a slate of three documentaries in development.www.bfna.org

For more information about the film, or to organize a screening, please contact info@bfna.org