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Late in 2006, President Jimmy Carter tours the U.S. promoting his provocative "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid." Demme's camera follows Carter from city to city, home to Plains (population 635), visiting a Habitat for Humanity site in New Orleans, and talking on radio and TV with Teri Gross, Charlie Rose, Diane Rehm, Jay Leno, Larry King, Wolf Blitzer, Tavis Smiley, and Al Jazeera and Israeli pundits, discussing Palestine's plight and the policies of Israel. Critics speak as well. Between events, Carter talks about Camp David, recent travels, being married, speaking Spanish, and wisdom he learned from Rachel Clark, his nanny. A montage of speeches, awards, and travels ends the film. Written by
According to the film's press notes, the milestones and achievements of the Carter Center include: (1) Leading a coalition that has reduced incidences of Guinea worm disease from an estimated 3.5 million in 1986 to about 25,000 today, making it likely to be the first disease since smallpox to be wiped off the face of the Earth ; (2) Observing more than 67 elections in 26 countries to help establish and strengthen democracies ; (3) Teaching techniques that have helped more than 8 million small-scale farmers in 15 African nations to double or triple grain production ; (4) Furthering avenues to peace in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Liberia, Sudan, Uganda, the Korean Peninsula, Haiti, and Bosnia and Herzegovina ; (5) Helping to establish a village-based health care delivery system in thousands of communities in Africa that now have trained health care personnel and volunteers to distribute drugs and provide health education ; (6) Strengthening international standards for human rights and the voices of individuals defending those rights in their communities worldwide ; and (7) Advancing efforts to improve mental health care and diminish the stigma against people with mental illness. See more »
Jonathan Demme makes a misstep in this documentary with the former president. I believe that Jimmy Carter's advocacy of peace is sincere. But this film in support of the controversial book does nothing to advocate his position nor incite any discussion.
Demme's film leaves us with no legacy or message. We simply aren't provided enough content to understand the former president's position. Over two hours was spent watching Carter enter and exit limousines and hotel rooms. More time is spent watching Cater sign books than explaining the controversial Palestinian policies.
Former Vice President, Al Gore, made complex facts simple and digestible in his film. Unfortunately, President Carter made a complex situation and the associated politics even more distant. Carter and Demme, both articulate men, did not get a message across. Don't waste your time.
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