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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
I've long felt that Mr Carter is most likely the greatest man to ever occupy the White House. This film reinforced that. I've long been a staunch advocate of Israel and the right of Israel to protect itself. This movie (and the book around which it revolves) did nothing to change that. What did change, what I found really embarrassing was the behavior of the advocates of Israel shown in this film. I say this as someone who lost a close friendship with an Arab over an on-going argument regarding Israel when I quoted Golda Meir: There will only be peace when they love their children more than they hate us. But it goes both ways.
President Carter reminds us that, in order to seek peace, we must take risks and have open minds, open arms and open hearts. The "pro-Israeli" protesters and interviewees in this film seem to care nothing about ending the nonsense that has touched every single Israeli and Palestinian Arab family over these past 60 years. If seeing and listening to President Carter hadn't been such a thrill, I might have left this film with great disdain for these opponents of peace. Instead, I feel as though I was allowed a two hour glimpse at the greatness of a man who will never be appreciated appropriately in history books. He's an incredible man. What prevents me from giving this a ten is that the editing and direction of this film were far from incredible.
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