The Agronomist | Chicago Reader

The Agronomist

Jonathan Demme's liberal politics, glimpsed in his features, find fullest expression in his documentaries, four of which concern the struggle for democracy in Haiti. Years ago, Demme fell in love with the elegant face, bearing, and voice of Jean Dominique, charismatic owner of Haiti's sole independent radio station, and started filming him to demonstrate Dominique's star potential to Hollywood producers. As a political dissident, Dominique incurred the wrath of dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his successor, “Baby Doc” (named “president for life” at 19). Twice exiled, Dominique returned to resume his role as a political commentator until he was assassinated outside the station in 2000. Demme's moving documentary turns the story of his dead friend into the story of Haiti. In English and subtitled Creole. 90 min.

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