The Agronomist - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Agronomist Reviews

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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.
½ June 2, 2005
½ 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.
January 8, 2014
Focusing on Jean Dominique, the voice of Radio Haiti Inter during decades of various dictatorships and violence, the movie shows the apparently never ending cycle of oppression with at least one voice speaking out against it.
August 13, 2007
This man is such an unbelievable inspiration to humanitarians and compassionate people everywhere. Such a beautiful film. A must see.
½ December 9, 2011
Excellent documentaire percutant, il est souvent 4$ la pharmacie, mais c'est un classique politique, d'histoire, quel homme ce Jean Dominique!
½ May 8, 2011
Documentary about the life of Jean Dominique which it is an outlook at the political situation in Haiti in the last half of the XXth century. Dominique was by trade an agronomist but ended up owning Radio Haiti, the only radio station that dared to tell the truth. He will eventually pay a high price for this freedom, he was gunned down in 2000. The movie is a collection of interviews with Jean Dominique and his widow and footage of the events that shook this country to the very core.
Demme did a good job and made the most of the interviews, however he relies too much in the spoken word, and at some points it gets a bit tedious, too much information. I just wish he would display action more prominently to make it more palatable
An essential watch for anybody that wants to find out about the recent history of Haiti
½ May 11, 2010
Could be more engaging than it actually is, but it's a great look inside the politics of Haiti through the life a very courageous and flat out inspiring person. His attitude reverberates like an infectious protest song.
½ March 27, 2010
Really well done documentary on Haitian radio journalist Jean Dominque. Through his life you see the history of Haiti and the Haitian peoples relentless struggle to take their power back.
January 31, 2010
Amazing documentary about the charming and driven radio broadcaster and human rights activist Jean Dominique, who spent his life challenging the brutal regimes that controlled Haiti until his assassination in 2000. Through Demme's interview footage of Dominique and his wife and partner, Michele Montas, a vivid portrait of a fearless patriot and champion of the poor is rendered. An explosive biography and a wonderful testament to the power of a free press.
January 18, 2010
A great doc about Jean and his fight for human rights...
½ October 19, 2009
That ole black magic
½ October 19, 2009
That ole black magic
½ July 12, 2009
Awesome and poignant.
June 28, 2009
Stunning documentary. Full of history and atmosphere, also truly about the cost in detail of military dictatorships and what it can do to a country. Unmissible.
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