Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Man From Plains

I know a lot of people who are mainly involved in arts or crafts pay little attention to politics. This is an unusual year and more people are paying attention. Record numbers of people have registered for the Michigan primary. People are aware historic things are happening In fact, I heard a beggar sitting on the sidewalk, talking to someone say, "We could elect a woman or black man this year. We are going to make history." This is not a typical voter or political comentator. So I can't apologize for bringing up politics, be it Tibet -- which I'm still watching -- or the documentary I saw the other night.

The Man from Plains is, obviously, about Jimmy Carter. It was produced, apparently, to help him push his book Palestine, Peace or Apartheid. His most controversial foray so far. The film mainly shows Carter in debate about his position which is that the Palestinians are being treated in much the same way blacks were treated in South Africa during apartheid. He backs up is assertions very convincingly and he debates all kinds of people with calm and with facts and he maintains his moral stance with dignity. The film gives us a broad background of Carter, emphasizes the Camp DAvid peace accord - which as far as Egypt and Israel are concerned has held. But he is adamant that the Israeli's are very much in violation of human rights in their treatment of the Palestinians.

Like many documentaries, there are periods that are dull and times when you say, "enough already." But it is a strong statement and still needs to be discussed and shown. Knowing that there are two sides to political situations is important and listening to the loudsst, most popular voice is often a mistake. I've always admired Carter. I was especially moved when someone asked him if he shouldn't have bombed Iran when they took the hostages and suggested we might not now have an "Iran problem" [if we do] -- Carter said he negotiated and as a result all the hostages came home alive and no innocent Iranis were killed. ... Put that against the number of innocent Iraqis who've died in the last five years and the 4,000 Americans who have also died in the abominable war that continues in Iraq.

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