Jimmy Carter Documentary to Open Tribeca Film Festival
“I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation.”
A new documentary about the 39th President of the United States is set to open the Tribeca Film Festival this year on April 15th. Entitled Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President, the film sheds light on a different aspect of Carter beyond just politics.
Focusing on the music that shaped Carter’s life, views and presidency, the new film is directed by Grammy-winning filmmaker Mary Wharton, who has made music her chief subject in past documentaries: Joan Baez, Sam Cooke, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. The doc was written by Bill Flanagan and produced by Chris Farrell.
“Music is the voice of the soul,” country singer Garth Brooks remarks in the documentary, as one of the interviewees who discusses Carter.
There will be vintage performances in the documentary by Muddy Waters and the Allman Brothers Band, as well as appearances or archival clips of Madeleine Albright, Bono, Jimmy Buffet, Rosanne Cash, Bob Dylan and more. Willie Nelson, who also appears in the film, will perform live after the documentary’s debut at the Tribeca Film Festival.
“The film accurately captures my love for all music and the importance music has played in my personal and professional life,” Carter said in a statement. “I remain hopeful and believe that music can serve to bring us together as a nation. Rosalynn [Carter] and I are pleased with the fine film Mary and Chris have made and thank all those involved for telling this story.”
Tribeca Film Festival co-founder and CEO Jane Rosenthal explained the relevance of the new documentary: “We witness the power of art inspiring change and the positive impact of citizens raising their voices against injustice everyday. As filmmakers, we were inspired to create the Tribeca Film Festival after 9/11 because we believe in the power of art to restore community and inspire change. Mary and Chris’ film, likewise, is a testament to that power.”
This year, the annual film fest is also partnering with Democracy Works and Civic Alliance, a coalition of businesses working to build a future where everyone can vote, volunteer and take action to shape the country. Festival-goers will be given access to online voting tools to help people get involved in their local elections.
Jimmy Carter served as president from 1977 to 1981. He has since experienced an enduring legacy with the public, for his continuing humanitarian work and views. He has won several honors, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, which was partially a response to President George W. Bush’s threats of war against Iraq. Carter was vocal about his criticism of the Bush administration then.
As of last year, Carter became the nation’s longest-lived president, at age 95. He now serves as an Honorary Chair for the World Justice Project and formerly served as one for the Continuity of Government Commission. He also teaches at Emory University in Atlanta, and in June 2019 was awarded tenure for 37 years of service.
The 2020 Tribeca Film Festival starts April 15th through the 26th in New York City, at New York’s Beacon Theatre. Ticket packages are on sale now, while single passes will go on sale March 17th.