The U.S. vs. John Lennon
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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.
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 ›
Lennon relocated to New York and applied for a Green Card hoping to settle in the country that he had grown to love. This documentary presents comments from both sides; we hear from political activists such as Bobby Seale that Lennon knew at the time as well as his political opponents that worked for the Nixon Administration such as G. Gordon Liddy, John Dean and some of the former FBI agents charged with bringing in incriminating evidence to eliminate Lennon as a threat. Filled with footage of Lennon on "The Mike Douglas Show" and interviews throughout the 60's and 70's, the film presents a pretty even handed look at what happened to Lennon when he chose to try and help the various political causes he supported.
The one area that the film skimps on is the early indication that he wanted to become political active. The film glosses over most of Lennon's life prior to his meeting Yoko. While this is more background, it would give more information and context. Likewise, ignoring Lennon's "lost weekend" where he fell into alcohol abuse, saw his marriage to Yoko fall apart. This bit of information shows the personal cost to Lennon for political activism and the green card situation. These moments would have humanized Lennon even more.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I watched this video for free on Amazon or Hulu (forget which) and knew I had to own a copy for myself. This video chronicles a turbulent time in America's (and my) past. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer Sue
Great. Sorry I did not watch it sooner. Important watch in this day and age.Published 1 month ago by James Ratner