If it hadn’t been for a bottle of scotch and a late-night visit from musician Gregg Allman, Jimmy Carter might never have been elected the 39th President of the United States. The documentary charts the mostly forgotten story of how Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with musicians Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers, Bob Dylan and others. Low on campaign funds and lacking in name recognition, Carter relied on support from these artists to give him a crucial boost in the Democratic primaries. Once Carter was elected, the musicians became frequent guests in the White House. The surprisingly significant role that music played throughout Carter’s life and in his work becomes a thread in this engaging portrait of the 96-year-old humanitarian, one of the most enigmatic Presidents in American history. (95 mins)
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“Watching “Jimmy Carter Rock & Roll President,” it’s hard not to be stirred by the testimonials, from people like Dylan and Nelson and Bono, to Carter’s fine-grained humanity.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“Even more than the music itself, or Carter’s passion for it, this alertness to sharedness is what ultimately makes the film moving as well as so pleasurable.” – Mark Feeney, Boston Globe