Agronomist, The (USA; 90 min.)

directed by: Jonathan Demme

The Agronomist

Michael says: "THE AGRONOMIST is a fascinating documentary by Jonathan Demme, examining the life of Haitian radio journalist and human rights activist Jean Dominique. More of a portrait (as Ned so adeptly noted) than a documentary, Demme's film traces Dominique's life and parallels it with the last 40 + years of political unrest in Haiti. Demme makes some interesting narrative choices to tell his story, such as foreshadowing and unique use of sound. Jean Dominique is a charismatic and entertaining subject, and his wife, Michèle Montas, a strong-willed woman who shared her husband's convictions. The two worked tirelessly on Radio Haiti, to be a voice for the peasants, and all the people of Haiti.

The film does a good job at letting us get to know Dominique. It is less successful as a documentary about the Hatian situation, but that is not what it's trying to be. It is certainly an entertaining, yet ultimately sobering film experience." 3 1/2 cats