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Jimmy Carter Man From Plains
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Directed By
Jonathan Demme

Written By:
Jonathan Demme

Jimmy Carter, Rosalynn Carter, Rosalynn Carter

Jimmy Carter Man From Plains (2007)
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Movie Review by Jarrod
November 3rd, 2007

'Man from Plains' is a documentary from veteran director Jonathan Demme about former president Jimmy Carter, touring the nation promoting his controversial new book about peace in the Middle East. The book is controversial because of its title, which contains the word "apartheid". It may not be entirely fair to compare Israel's treatment of Palestinians to the racist regime that once ruled South Africa, but Carter does make that comparison, as has Desmond Tutu, and both have been denounced as anti-Semites by certain groups, though to label as such is ridiculous. Carter presided over the groundbreaking agreement between Israel and Egypt in 1978, the Camp David, where Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat famously shook hands with one another. Carter's critics are visible, as his book's thesis and conclusions are challenged by the pro-Israel crowd, but Demme doesn't come down on one side or the other.

It was a great step forward and has not really been duplicated since, with the exception of the Oslo Accords, a direct agreement between Israel and Palestine, signed in 1993. Carter has been deeply committed to peace in the troubled region, and everywhere in the world. Say what you will about him, his warmth and kindness are extraordinary, and he is also a man of immense energy, devoutly religious and happily married to his beloved wife Rosalynn. The film follows him on speaking tours, into his home, on the road, exploring his private and public life. One comes away with respect for Carter, regardless of how he or she may have felt about his administration. There is nothing flashy here, just a solid documentary that observes its subject honestly and dispassionately.

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