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Happy Trails

Happy Trails

Titled like an old-fashioned Western where a man in a white hat gallops in to save a town from ruthless villains, Jonathan Demme’s Jimmy Carter Man from Plains portrays the 39th president as an intrepid political lone ranger, unafraid of provoking discussion on sensitive international matters at an age when most retired representatives ride inoffensively into the sunset. Following Carter in autumn 2006 on a publicity tour in support of his controversial book “Palestine Peace Not Apartheid,” Demme reveals Carter as a highly intelligent, dedicated, religious, humble, and concerned man constantly engaged with the world around him, and for that the film is time well spent with a human being who, even if one doesn’t agree with his ideas, must be at least admired for his unwavering integrity. Nonetheless, this is a limited documentary, unavoidably dependent on Carter’s public speaking appearances and talk and radio show interviews for much of its material, making Man from Plains a compromised product and nowhere near a full accounting of Carter’s legacy.

Click here to read Michael Joshua Rowin’s review of Jimmy Carter Man from Plains.

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