Jimmy Carter Man From Plains (review)

Jonathan Demme picked up a camera and followed around Jimmy Carter on the tour to promote his 2006’s book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and it’s exhausting just watching the 80-something former president do his thing. The man is tireless — building houses with Habitats for Humanity, promoting peace around the world, actually actively talking to people all over the damn place in an attempt to make things nicer for everyone. And that’s on top of defending himself and his writings: that word apartheid in his title elicits all manner of knee-jerk snarling, as well as some more thoughtful criticism, everywhere he goes. Regardless of what you think of the man’s tenure in the White House, this portrait of Carter’s endless crusade for justice and an end to global conflict is inspiring… so inspiring, in fact, that you utterly fail to remember how big a mess the world is in. Surely (goes the impression this powerfully moving film leaves us with), if someone like Carter is taking the reins and getting things done, then we must be okay in the long run, right? It’s a pithy reminder of how little that’s very positive our current national leadership in Washington is achieving.

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