He was the 39th President of the United States. During his term as Commander in Chief, America saw huge increases in fuel costs, the finality of the Camp David Accord and the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. However, Jimmy Carter’s legacy – based on recent events – has proven much more controversial.

In Jimmy Carter Man from Plains, this former leader is documented on the big screen by the never-disappointing filmmaker Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs). Carter’s tour, in support of his book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid is chronicled (as is the resulting backlash against it). That literary effort managed to land the former president – a Nobel Peace Prize winner – in some pretty hot water from late 2006 through early 2007.

The documentary opens the door to the ongoing debate over whether the book is skewed in favor of Palestine and whether its author is an anti-Semite for taking the position that he does. We see that this leader is not infallible; instead, he is flawed and funny like anyone else.

In the end, Demme manages to control both sides of the argument surrounding Carter, while leaving the viewer with an “eyes wide open” view of this once-simple man from Plains, Ga.

Grade: B

Jimmy Carter Man from Plains is currently in select theaters.