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The life of Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist, Jean Dominique, told through historical footage of Haiti; interviews with Dominique and his wife, Michele Montas; and footage shot before his assassination in April 2000.
Jonathan Demme has always had a thing for Haiti. With The Agronomist, the Oscar winning director of The Silence of the Lambs takes his Haitian passion for a serious and considerably more personal turn in a documentary profiling journalist and radio pioneer Jean Dominique. Demme first became intrigued by Dominique in 1991 when he undertook a series of informal video interviews. He returned to his subject many times over the next decade, sometimes in Haiti and sometimes during extended periods when Dominique was in the U.S., a political exile from his homeland. When Demme began his documentary, he certainly couldnt have planned for its end--the assassination of Dominique outside his Port au Prince radio station in 2000. As The Agronomist makes clear, it was a blatantly political crime and one that remains unsolved. The title refers to Dominiques original vocation helping farmers in the rural communities of Haiti. He came from the upper classes, but continued his battles in representing his countrys poor and dispossessed even as his career path changed to professional broadcaster. As operator of the independent Radio Haiti Inter from 1960 until his death, Dominique became a hero to the masses and a frequent enemy of the government. In extensive interview segments, Dominique exudes the charismatic good humor and mischievous zeal that brought him fame and infamy from the various constituents of Haitis notorious political landscape. An impish, animated figure with sparkling eyes and naughty grin, Dominique gleefully or angrily recounts confrontations with the authority of Haitis Duvalier father-and-son dictators, and later the Aristide regime. The Agronomist is very much a homemade affair, but by no means amateurish. Using mostly raw camcorder video, Demme makes a stylish statement with his visuals and Dominique's words. He also gets plenty of help from a sensational soundtrack by another beloved Haitian hero, Wyclef Jean. The Agronomist is an apt history lesson about Haiti's legacy of political turmoil and a powerful testimonial about patriotism in the face of oppression. --Ted Fry
You haven't seen this documentary yet? Why not? You absolutely must buy this today and watch it. It will inspire you to fight for what you believe in. Read morePublished on February 19, 2013 by Nick Adams
It is easy to see why award winning Jonathan Demme had a fascination with Jean Dominique and the continued saga of the democratic process in Haiti. Read morePublished on July 16, 2011 by C. Collins
My product came just as they said it would. The shipped the product the next day. Definetely a good buy!Published on January 5, 2010 by Kirby Ross
This is an excellent movie. I recommend that any Haitian who cares about their country see it. Sad, but truly inspirational.Published on July 6, 2009 by JayWavy
I loved the determination of this man and the insight into the politicalness involved with/in Haiti. I rented this and watched it twice. I told myself-U need to buy this one. Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by anniewilkes
This was an alright documentary about Radio Haiti and the man who started it. It was quite boring, though agronomy and radio are not action packed topics it could have been better. Read morePublished on August 29, 2008 by Amen Farel
Though, I know of filmmaker Jonathan Demme (known best for THE CRYING GAME, among other films), I have never seen any of the films from his extensive body of work. Read morePublished on May 24, 2007 by D. Pawl
n a word, this movie is "educational." It isn't the best documentary I've ever seen, but I do know quite a bit more about Haiti than I did before I saw it.Published on April 9, 2007 by B. W.
I enjoyed watching this documentary because it really showed what could be... the elite of Haiti rising up and standing for the rights of ALL Haitians not standing for impunity in... Read morePublished on February 25, 2007 by Joy