“Jimmy Carter, Rock & Roll President,” is available for viewing online beginning today.

“Jimmy Carter, Rock & Roll President,” is available for viewing online beginning today.

Documentary tells of Jimmy Carter, rock music

FRIDAY HARBOR — North Olympic Peninsula residents are among those who can see “Jimmy Carter, Rock & Roll President,” which opens the Friday Harbor Virtual Film Festival, beginning today.

Tickets are $8.50 at www.fhff.org for the documentary which was conceived by producer Chris Farrell and directed by Mary Wharton. It will screen on-demand through Nov. 30.

The film opens the “Best of the Fest” series, offering films during each of the coming months.

“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 film festival said on its website.

Carter, a lover of all types of music, forged a tight bond with such musicians as Willie Nelson, the Allman Brothers and Bob Dylan.

The film offers new interviews with Dylan, Bono, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon, Greg Allman, Garth Brooks and others, as well as with former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter.

“We wanted to make something fun that could appeal to a broad audience,” Wharton said.

”This is a hybrid: A straight-up music documentary about an important politician. We’re utilizing the form of a music doc and using that as our touchstone. Yet throughout the film, you do learn who Carter is as a man by seeing how music threads through his life.”

Added Farrell: “We didn’t want to do just a dry political film. If we can attract people with music and then they walk out aware of certain things they didn’t know — and they had fun in the process — then we did our job.”

Since leaving office, Carter has worked with The Carter Center and collaboration with Habitat for Humanity (through the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project) to alleviate homelessness, treat preventable diseases including Guinea Worm and malaria and promoting equality and diplomacy.

“Jim Free, the former Special Assistant to the President who’s interviewed for the film, said that he often tells people, ‘If you like what Jimmy Carter has done since he left office, well, when he was President, he was all about doing the same things — making people’s lives better,’” Farrell said.

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