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Jimmy Carter Man From Plains

4.0 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Embarking on a national publicity tour to promote his new book, "Palestine Peace Not Apartheid," former US president Jimmy Carter ignites an international firestorm of controversy when he argues that only Israel's complete withdrawal from the occupied territories can bring lasting peace to the Middle East. Intimate, informative and altogether engrossing, JIMMY CARTER MAN FROM PLAINS is a candid portrait of a Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian and statesman whose compassion and steadfast sense of justice remains undiminished by time. Directed by Academy Award(r)-winner Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs Best Director, 1991; Philadelphia, 1993).

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No other American president in recent history has had as significant a public profile after leaving office as Jimmy Carter, but public profile isn't all good--as Jimmy Carter, Man from Plains demonstrates. This documentary, directed by Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs, Philadelphia), captures the blaze of controversy that followed publication of Carter's book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. As Carter launches his book tour, the rounds of interviews make clear that much of the hubbub was sparked simply by the use of the word "apartheid" in the title. But Man from Plains isn't just a series of media debates, it's also a portrait of Carter--a man lauded for his fundamental decency and criticized for his deep-rooted stubbornness--and a glancing but not simplified discussion of the Palestinian occupation itself. Most of the movie tracks the former president as he travels from city to city, but scenes at events in Plains and footage from Carter's tenure in office give the depiction of Carter some scope. Demme captures Carter's generosity, his earnest spirituality, and--undeniably--his ego, which (as with anyone who's risen to public office) is not small, despite Carter's sense of humility. This well-rounded documentary is essential viewing for anyone who yearns for the day when our elected officials had integrity. --Bret Fetzer

Stills from Jimmy Carter Man from Plains (click for larger image)







Beyond Jimmy Carter Man from Plains


Audio CD

Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid

Beyond the White House: Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope


Special Features

  • Commentary with director Jonathan Demme and Producer Neda Armian
  • Bonus Scenes
  • Soundtrack Recording Sessions

Product Details

  • Actors: Robbie Brown, Wolf Blitzer, Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Elizabeth Hayes
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Jonathan Demme, Neda Armian
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: March 25, 2008
  • Run Time: 126 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0011VIO64
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,134 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jimmy Carter Man From Plains" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Jimmy Carter is an impressive man. He has set the standard for a productive post-presidency, and the time is ripe for a reassessment of the difficult but often wise decisions he made in office.

Unfortunately, this Jonathan Demme film focuses almost entirely on Carter's 2006 tour promoting his book "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" and the uproar it spurred. Carter comes across as courageous, principled and (usually) very patient in the face of the same questions asked over and over again by modestly informed interviewers. The controversy offers plenty of insight into Carter's character and beliefs, but it's only one aspect of his career.

Demme fills a lot of space with scenes of Carter getting on and off planes, riding in cars, carrying his suitcase, getting makeup applied for interviews, etc. Comparatively little use is made of archival footage, except for a brief but engaging segment on the Camp David negotiations. I would have liked less of the former and more of the latter. As much as I thought I would enjoy this film, I found myself getting bored after the first hour as it kept going over the same ground, instead of giving us a full portrait of the "Man From Plains".
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In this apparently simple yet wonderfully directed documentary, one of the best and bravest american directors meets one of America's last notable personalities.
Jonathan Demme, over the years, has progressively abandoned mainstream and fictional films, committing himself to documentaries about music and social/political issues.
Here he deals with maybe the american president who has been most reconsidered after his administration. A simple man with clear and brave ideas, who's never been afraid of telling the truth, even when if didnt make public opinion happy.
Here, those two men, walk together through Carter's struggle against america's prejudice about Palestine and middle east. They even call him an anti-semite, when he simply tries to rebalance the discussion around this subject, calling for human rights and peace.
And so, by showing this trip through the states, you get to know him better, and discover the other side of the brilliant director who came with him
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Jonathan Demme is a master filmmaker so this is a complex portrait of of President Jimmy Carter on a book tour, in one sense a small snapshot of the man. At first I thought it a standard broadcast documentary missing only the voice of God narrator, but on reviewing it I saw each scene was a different aspect of Jimmy Carter. Using old footage Demme points to the Herculean effort Jimmy Carter invested in the Egyptian-Isreali peace agreement. His work building houses shows Jimmy Carter as a man trying to help people who need it. Either from the perspective of those interested in learning more about Jimmy Carter, or from those seeking a masterclass in documentary making I recommend this film. Although I am a different person with different views than Jimmy Carter this film helped me see president Carter as a caring man, a finer man than history sees him--Demme even explains that in terms of an unfortunate hostage outcome. Jimmy Carter is outside the ex presidents club in a way. Maybe that's because, as this film shows him, he is a spiritual and caring man seeking to be just and loving. It is well crafted about someone I like a whole lot more after seeing A Man of Plains.
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Format: DVD
Anyone who had access to television news in 2006 will remember the storm of controversy following the publication of former President Jimmy Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid." This film recalls those days in great detail and reminds us that many of the book's critics had not even bothered to read it before denouncing it.

I predict that many of the same critics of that book and Carter's even-handed position on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict will return to denounce Jonathan Demme's film without ever bothering to see it. They will continue to assert that Israel is completely innocent of creating anything that could be considered an apartheid situation. Their hope is that people will ignore Carter's simple request that everyone take the time to look at the facts on the ground before automatically taking the Israeli side in this long-standing dispute. Anyone who does so can at least then agree that the walls constructed by Israel encroach in many places onto long-held Palestinian lands.

Carter points out in several instances in the film that Israel certainly has the right to defend itself and its borders against terrorist attacks; his objection is to the locations where the walls have been built and the manner in which they have been used to house the Palestinians as virtual prisoners. It is much easier for the critics to simply assume that Carter is anti-Israeli. I submit that any honest viewer of the film cannot maintain such an opinion of him.

Even those who might disagree with Carter's positions would have to be amazed at the sheer level of energy shown in the film on the part of this eighty-three year old man who seems willing to speak anytime, anywhere in defense of his views.
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