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By Merle Bertrand | April 23, 2004

If liberals were in power in America today, would Rush Limbaugh be willing to die to return the country to conservative rule? A true believer would…and in a fractured country like Haiti, many often do die for their political beliefs. One such martyr is Haitian radio journalist and political activist Jean Dominique who kept the government’s heels to the coals regardless of the despot in charge…and ultimately paid for it in a hail of gunfire outside his beloved Radio Haiti Inter studios in 2000.

Director Jonathan Demme weaves the story of Dominique’s life into the tortured history of his country through photographs, archival video footage, and some seven years worth of interviews with Dominique, his wife, and friends and family. The film reveals a man whose wiry build, relentless passion, fearless guile, and bravery made him a beloved human rights activist in his strife-ridden country.

Even with Demme at the helm, “The Agronomist” must have seemed doomed to obscurity not all that long ago. After all, the film’s main subject was an eccentric gadfly with a funny accent and a French name which, especially for a Limbaugh listener, was a sure kiss of death. But with our operations in Afghanistan and Iraq descending into a slow but steady drip of death, Haiti has suddenly burst back into the news spotlight again in recent weeks.

If there’s even the slightest silver lining in this latest senseless Haitian conflagration, it’s that it might convince more people to check out “The Agronomist” and learn how a real national hero comports himself.

Are you reading this, Rush?

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