The Agronomist

  • Directed by Jonathan Demme
  • United Arab Emerites, 2003, 91 mins., English

Jonathan Demme’s career as a feature filmmaker was paralleled by personal documentaries focusing on music and human rights, with a special interest in Haitian culture. The Agronomist is an impassioned portrait and celebration of the late Haitian radio personality Jean Dominique, who courageously campaigned for democracy in the tiny island nation. As longtime owner and operator of Haiti’s only free radio station, Dominique battled with a long succession of oppressive regimes, living as a symbol of freedom, the voice of the people, and the conscience of the country. Demme tells his story with an inspiring assembly of interviews and historic footage that at once capture a man with singular dedication and optimism, and a developing country beset by an all-too-common set of social, political, and economic realities.

Genres: Documentary

Other Films by Jonathan Demme

Swimming To Cambodia

“It would be wrong to think of Swimming to Cambodia as a one-man show, even though it captures the performance of a single artist, Spalding Gray, as he sits alone on an almost empty stage. For one thing, Mr. Gray’s feature-length monologue brings people, places, and things so vibrantly to life that they’re very nearly

Cousin Bobby

In Cousin Bobby, Demme introduces us to his cousin Reverend Robert Castle, an Episcopalian minister who worked within the African American community for over 40 years in Jersey City and Harlem. Though they had not seen each other for decades, the cousins’ reunion resulted in an engaging, highly personal view of an unselfish, down-to-earth man—a

Stop Making Sense

Thirty years after its release, Demme’s extraordinary Talking Heads concert movie, filmed over the course of three days at Hollywood’s historic Pantages Theatre, remains as fresh as ever. With each successive song band members, instruments and set pieces slowly join frontman David Byrne on stage, culminating in a full-blast, high-energy rockout. Featuring performances of “Psycho

Melvin and Howard

Demme’s fifth feature and first major critical success is a film dealing with the peculiarities of American lower-middle-class life that is ostensibly focused on the legend of Howard Hughes and his mysterious, nine-figure last will and testament. Hughes (Jason Robards) might be the big draw, but in this intimate work Demme is happy to follow