The fifth in a series of documentaries revolving around Haiti's struggle for democracy, this piece from director Jonathan Demme revolves around the life of Jean Dominique, a Haitian radio personality who spent his life campaigning for reform within the notoriously oppressed nation. The Agronomist begins just after the 1991 overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, when Dominique and his wife, while at the radio station, came under fire from rebels involved with the coup. Referred to as an agronomist due to his background in agriculture -- which, consequently, brought him into contact with the feudalistic nature of Haiti's farming system -- Dominique's passion for reform landed him in exile. Rather than give up after his release, Dominique initiated a career as a radio communicator, and he allowed Demme access to the station and his personal life during key periods of unrest and political fluctuation. Sadly, the documentary ends with an account of Dominique's assassination in April of 2000. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi
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For anyone with knowledge of Haiti and the political situation that it has endured for the last two hundred years, this is an inside look at the reality of Haiti's struggle for democracy. The documentary interviews filmed prior to Jean Dominque's violent death offer a unique retrospective insight that is seldom available in such instances. If you're truly interested in the political struggles of Haiti, this is a must see.
As much as Haiti was in the news after the earthquake there was no reference to this influential figure in Haiti's past. Demme does a fine job with documentaries. The subject of the doc remains the central figure in the story not the political agenda of the film maker. The story is excellent but reflects poorly on US/Haiti relations as a result of presidential politics.