DVD View; Film
Byline: ANDY KELLY
THE US vs JOHN LENNON (12)
THIS documentary focuses on the battle American authorities waged with John Lennon as his "peace and love" activities began to irritate them to the point of concerted suspicion. Much of the early part of the film seems really familiar as much of the footage is of events we already knowwell - the record-burning over the "bigger than Jesus" jibe, the John and Yoko bed in, the Vietnamprotests.
There are some excellent talking heads - Yoko herself, ex-federal agents, the great US broadcaster Walter Cronkite and the wonderful Gore Vidal - but the politics behind the whole film are left far too unexplored. It's too easy to say the peaceniks had it all right and the big, bad US authorities had it wrong.
The second half of the film is much more fulfilling as it zooms in on Lennon's attempt to stay in the US as political figures, who it emerges included then President Richard Nixon, were trying to have him forcibly removed. Lennon won his battle but staying in America was, of course, ultimately to lead to his death. Some excellent stuff, but in the end a little bit of a missed opportunity here. The extras include brilliant little vignettes including Cronkite explaining howhe was responsible for bringing The Beatles to the Ed Sullivan show.
FILM *** EXTRAS ***
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