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The U.S. vs. John Lennon
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- Bonus footage
- DVD-ROM interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Top Customer Reviews
That answer should perk brows. It's easy to forget that Lennon, a larger than life figure in life and in death, was rather young during the most controversial part of his life. Fresh from the breakup of the Beatles, the incomprehensibly famous twenty-something focused his energies on activism. His life as the "intelligent" Beatle may have made him feel somewhat infallible - and in some ways he was untouchable. The head-on clash he had with the United States government, documented in this film, probably bolstered that feeling. That he accomplished what he did at such a young age remains astonishing.
Anyone familiar with Lennon's career knows that he had a penchant for making bold statements. Some of these led to public outcry. After a brief overview of Lennon's childhood, the film shows the fallout from his 1966 "we're more popular than Jesus" statement. Beatle bonfires, condemnation in the press, boycotts, and defamation resulted. The band survived, of course. But that controversy failed to staple his tongue. With almost unprecedented candor for a rock star, Lennon began to speak out against the Vietnam war. One scene shows the Beatles poised press-conference style. An interviewer throws out a question about the United States' involvement in Vietnam.Read more ›
Director David Leaf interweaves Lennon's music within the documentary with a collage of images of the mop-top Beatle to the bearded-hippie shouting for world peace from an Amsterdam hotel room alongside the press and fellow peers. The core participants and leaders of the late 1960s and early 1970s are presented in the film, such as John Sinclair, Angela Davis, J. Edgar Hoover, President Richard M. Nixon, and various writers and journalists who reported about Lennon. The interesting aspect are the recent interviews of those political activists who attempted to make a mark on society. Within Leaf's documentary is the past, but the political atmosphere of the present appears to parallel or bear similarities to the past.
THE US VS. JOHN LENNON is entertaining. In light of serious events that occurred in Lennon's life, he tend to press on. There are funny moments in the film as well as serious ones. But the film also presents the chilling aspects of the system of government, and the powers that be. Lennon may have been one the last influential figures of the 1960s who spoke and sang a thousand words to a generation that just wanted to be listened and understood, and politics did not stop him from creating his love of music for all to hear.
This film is highly recommended for all Lennon fans as well as those who would like to understand the relationship between politics and music.
Lennon was always the rebel; and one DVD narrator comments that in Yoko John found the other half of his voice. John and Yoko both thought outside the box and were not afraid to stand up for their beliefs. This DVD demonstrates that they knew the press would constantly hound them so they used the media very cleverly to transport their political beliefs, especially about the war in Vietnam, to the world. John and Yoko's honeymoon "bed-in" in The Amsterdam Hilton is an example of how skillfully they used the media to their advantage. Excellent!
Of course this made the Nixon administration very nervous. Nixon believed that Lennon had the power to steal his thunder; and Nixon was at the very least partially right. Nixon campaigned in 1968 for the presidency with the offer of "a secret plan" to end hostilities in Vietnam. As we now know, that certainly was not the case; after Nixon took office Vietnam continued and the conflicts worsened. As more and younger voters were influenced by their idol John Lennon's political beliefs, Nixon became increasingly paranoid and eventually stooped lower than any other president has ever done.
At the same time, Lennon and Ono had good reason to be nervous themselves; their phones were almost certainly tapped and they were followed by government "officials" everywhere they went.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great movie that sheds light on the peace movement and the part John Lennon and Yoko played in it.Published 1 day ago by Sierra L.
Loved this. Nice look at John from a different angle. I can see the U.S. assassination all over it.Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
A riveting view of the times which reveals glimpses into the brave and beautiful soul of John Lennon..Published 5 days ago by MLH