Jonathan Demme: Jimmy Carter. Man from Plains

The biggest part of this hommage to Jimmy Carter, the 39th president of the US and nobel prize peace winner for his tireless international work for peace in the world, is about his promotion of the book ”Palestine. Peace not Apartheid”, that raised a lot of discussion and anger a couple of years ago as it was also seen as a strong criticism of the state of Israel.

It’s Carter in and out of cars, Carter signing books, Carter in the media, first of all in tv studios, Carter repeating the same argument again and again to all those who have not really read the book but maybe just the title… He is constantly followed by bodyguards and his pr agent, he is (at an age of over 80) very fit, and he is emotional on several occasions. As is his wife, Rosalynn, with whom he has been together for more than 60 years.

Some archive material goes back to when he was president and had Anwar Sadat and Menachim Begin meet and sign a peace agreement at Camp David, but otherwise there is not a lot about his time as leader of the country.

Purely positive to the main character, with ”sugar-on-the-cake” (for me) music from start till end (Demme has made great music films with Neil Young and Talking Heads but here it is bring in some flavour), the film and the special Jimmy Carter smile becomes boring to watch. But I still leave the film with a lot of sympathy for an honest and honorable man, who takes a very unamerican point on Israeli politics on the West Bank.

USA, 2007, 125 mins.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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