Anything But Plain

See Demme's view of Jimmy Carter at the Modern

Jimmy Carter is not the sexiest ex-president. He's quiet, a little mousy and he stays out of the spotlight for the most part. While Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have stood for every possible photo opportunity in the years since their presidency, Carter has calmly reached out to world leaders in search of a peaceful solution to a problem that he has been trying to solve since the mid-'70s. Director Jonathan Demme's film, Jimmy Carter: Man From Plains, examines this quest as Carter attempts to help broker peace in the conflict-ridden, Israeli-occupied Palestinian region. Demme trails Carter as he hawks his just published critique of Israeli occupation, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, and shows Carter as he stays nonplussed during a contentious interview with Charlie Rose and then as he sits for an interview with Al-Jazeera, during which he nonchalantly calls it like he sees it, much to the surprise of his interviewers. While the film operates on a mostly superficial level, never really taking a stand on the conflict, it is an absorbing portrait of a man dismissed for years as a simple Southerner by conservatives. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St., shows the engaging documentary at 6 p.m. and 8:15 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday,and 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.50. Visit themodern.org.
Jan. 18-20, 2008

 
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