The Agronomist | Chicago Reader

The Agronomist

Directed by Jonathan Demme, this documentary about crusading broadcast journalist Jean Dominique ends with his assassination in April 2000 outside the offices of Radio Haiti, but it functions less as a biography than as a primer on the political conflicts that have roiled the island for decades, so it couldn't be more relevant now. Demme draws heavily on interviews with Dominique shot in New York in the early 90s during the coup against Aristide, and elicits lucid memories from Michele Montez, Dominique's wife and partner in the studio. The U.S.'s imperial influence on Haiti comes as no surprise, but I was struck by how closely the island's struggle for human rights has been tied to our presidential administrations. Take a wild guess which party's been on the wrong side. 91 min.

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