A review of “The Agronomist”
by Jeanne Aufmuth
Rating: PG-13 for grisly
hour, 30 minutes
activist/journalist Jean Dominique is the subject of this searing portrait of Haiti’s political
upheavals of the last forty years.
coup d’ètat that toppled a President to the vicious maneuvers of the Ton Ton
Macoute, the escape of dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier and the groundswell of the
National Council of Government, Haiti has been to hell and back.
the controversial Radio Haiti Inter, Dominique had a vision of a democratic Haiti
throughout times of turmoil and revolution. His passion and technological
innovations virtually revolutionized radio communications in his ailing land. A risk taker willing to smack it down against
evil political forces, Dominique became the voice of a splintered nation.
The film is
a diary of Haiti’s,
and Dominique’s, turbulent history. Director Jonathan Demme, a human rights
activist himself, has utilized original radio broadcasts, interviews with
Dominique and his wife Michèle Montas, and startling news footage to create a
picture of a dynamic character and the country he loved.
exile in New York City
not once but twice, Dominique nonetheless worked tirelessly for his democratic
ideals until he was brutally gunned down in front of the Radio Haiti studio on
April 3, 2000.
bare-bones style offers a keen sense of the struggles and frustrations facing
the little West Indies
Island. An uncompromising glimpse into a life and a
land waging a two-hundred year battle for peace.