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The Agronomist Reviews

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John B

Super Reviewer

June 28, 2007
I didn't know Jean Dominique prior to seeing this film and I was glad for the opportunity to have gotten to know him. Once in a blue moon, you find men of courage. Unfortunately they are few and far between.

Super Reviewer

February 16, 2008
A fascinating documentary about Jean Leopold Dominique, a radio personality who gave a voice to the people of Haiti during the reign of the Duvalier regimes. The film tells Dominique?s story in his own words through interview footage taken over the course of decades. A great character study and a great history lesson. Unfortunately the project occasionally looks a bit cheap, seemingly minor aspect like the font used look a little bit unprofessional, which is surprising when one considers that this was made by the Oscar winning director Jonathan Demme. Still, this is a great story that should be seen by many.
April 20, 2007
Fascinating documentary about the owner/DJ of Radio Haiti, who started out in life as an agronomist and wound up a revolutionary.
August 13, 2007
This man is such an unbelievable inspiration to humanitarians and compassionate people everywhere. Such a beautiful film. A must see.
August 10, 2005
[b]DVD [/b]First Viewing, 6 Demme films seen

Director Jonathan Demme is not typically known for documentary filmmaking, but [i]The Agronomist[/i] is an impressive venture into the genre. It tells the story of Jean Dominique, a journalist and human rights activist in Haiti.

Last year, Demme also directed the mainstream quasi-hit [i]The Manchurian Candidate[/i]. As far as remakes go, I guess it was successful. Granted I haven't seen the original, but I really did like Demme's retelling (even though it has Denzel in it - every fake movie-lover's favorite actor).

I'd feel like I was giving too much away to say anything else about [i]The Agronomist[/i]. The film is the story of his life, so if you want to hear that, then rent the film.
June 2, 2005
May 16, 2004
It's very difficult for me to rate this movie because, although physically I was in the theatre from the previews until the final credits rolled, at the start of the film my mind was elsewhere. And though I tried to recover from my initial distraction and to really focus, I never quite succeeded. It's hard to say whether this was my fault or was due to the failure of the film to present a compelling story.

So having gotten the "I wasn't really paying attention" disclaimer out of the way, I'll proceed to review the movie. It's a documentary about a Haitian political activist named Jean Dominique who was assassinated in 2000. Dominique founded an independent radio station in 1968 which broadcast in the peasant language of Creole and repeatedly incurred the wrath of the government.

Before seeing this film, I knew almost nothing about Haiti. After seeing it, I still know almost nothing about Haiti. I think that's part of the problem. The film seems to presuppose a basic knowledge of the subject, which I don't have.

To me, the movie was a whirlwind of facts about dictators and coups and exiles, interspersed with interviews with the very animated Dominique and his wife, Michele Montas. Dominique's passion was evident, as was his popularity with the masses. The most moving footage in the film captures a crowd of about 60,000 who spontaneously gathered at the airport for his first return from exile in 1986.

I'm going to give this film the benefit of the doubt and assume I'd have found it more engrossing if I was more into it from the beginning. In any case, it has a good soundtrack.
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