THE AGRONOMIST (2003)
As evidenced by his most recent achievement, Rachel Getting Married, Jonathan Demme loves music. The way he drapes his movies in lush music of every sort gives them the feeling of being propelled forward by a kind of improvisational joy, even when the subject matter is deadly serious. Few subjects could be more serious than the sad legacy of human rights violations in Haiti or the tragic life of Jean Dominique, the radio journalist who dedicated his life to fighting against them. The movie itself unfolds with the sureness and thoroughness we’ve come to expect from Demme but it wouldn’t be half the film it is were it not for the score by Wyclef Jean, possibly the best thing that’s come out of his wildly oscillating career. The music is sometimes driving and somber, sometimes languid and celebratory but always with an undercurrent of hope that does honor to the spirit of Jean Dominique.