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neumu
Sunday, December 21, 2014 
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Cinematronic by Michael Snyder
Film
cinematronic
  The Agronomist cinematronic
  director

Jonathan Demme

cast

Jean Dominique

year

2003

rating rating cinematronic
  Jonathan Demme made his name directing the romantic comedy "Something Wild" and the horror classic "Silence of the Lambs," but he also shot one of the best concert documentaries of the rock era: Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense." The latest documentary from Demme is "The Agronomist," and it's right up there with his better work. Its subject is eloquent, engaging Haitian broadcaster Jean Dominique, who championed freedom of the press in his country via his stewardship of Radio Haiti, the strife-torn nation's top station. Dominique's life unfolds via interviews with the man, his family and associates, in archival film, audio and video footage, and photos. A crusader for democracy and human rights, Dominique came from a privileged background. He initially chose to work as an agronomist, touring rural areas to help Haitian farmers improve crop quality and yield. The government preferred to keep the peasants down and thwarted his best efforts. So Dominique opted for a career in journalism to fight injustice with truth. In a politically repressive place such as Haiti, a media gadfly is normally swatted with swift, sure finality, yet Dominique endured as a fearless commentator and activist. Pushed into exile, he invariably returned home until his luck ran out. "The Agronomist" is inspiring, even as it leaves you awash in sadness.  
cinematronic
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