By William Wolf

THE AGRONOMIST  Send This Review to a Friend

Johnathan Demme has made an inspiring yet heartbreaking documentary about a Haitian journalist hero who was larger than life in trying to uphold democratic values in his country but who fell victim to an assassination. He was Jean Dominique, whose broadcasting station Radio Haiti Inter has been a controversial beacon earning legions of supporters as well as bitter enemies. "The Agronomist," released in the wake of the recent upheaval in Haiti, is a reminder of the struggles that continue to take place in that troubled country.

Demme captures the charisma of Dominique's life and his ties to agriculture, in line with his professional training. Most of all, it demonstrates his role as a crusading journalist and activist for democracy. His story is important in the context of the assassinations of journalists the world over in retribution for reporting what some don't want to be revealed.

The film also gives a vivid portrait of Jean Dominique's widow, Michèle Montas, equally spirited, who is trying to build upon her murdered husband's legacy, although the radio station went off the air because of the death threats against the staff. "The Agronomist" is an unusual documentary, made by an expert director who knows how to put a film together that is artistic as well as informative. It therefore packs even more punch than a fictional work might. A ThinkFilm release.


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