From British daily The Morning Star:
The US vs John Lennon (12A)
(Thursday 07 December 2006)
Directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld
JEFF SAWTELL finds John Lennon‘s anti-war heart on display in a new documentary on his political roots.
IN THE publicity material for this documentary about John Lennon, Yoko Ono is quoted as saying: “Of all the documentaries that have been made about John, this is the one he would have loved.”
It deals with Lennon’s life between 1966-76, the decade in which he became politicised and made his very vocal stand against the Vietnam war in 1972.
The title is inspired by the fact that president Richard Nixon and FBI chief J Edgar Hoover were determined to have him deported.
This has been documented by historian Jon Wiener, who filed a freedom of information request for the FBI files on Lennon after his death.
Most fans know that the US burnt and banned Beatles records in 1966 after Lennon had declared: “We’re more popular than Jesus now,” even though he later apologised.
However, it was following Lennon’s relationship with Yoko in 1968 that his aesthetic and political journey took a surprising turn, not least their mutual antipathy to the Vietnam war which culminated with their marriage. …
Still, as Angela Davis and Tariq Ali, along with some other notable talking heads, explain, the couple did raise the public profile of the war among a confused generation.
Other contributors include former Black Panther leader Bobby Seale, writer Gore Vidal, journalist Walter Cronkite, anti-war activist Ron Kovic and former presidential candidate John [George] McGovern.
The songs punctuate the politics throughout, with Lennon’s distinctive nasal wail reminding us of Revolution, Imagine, Working Class Hero and what became a universal protest anthem – Give Peace a Chance.
Still, it wasn’t the peacenik side that upset Nixon, it was Lennon’s declaration of support for the 1972 anti-Nixon campaign, especially the aborted attempt to picket the Republican convention.
More Lennon and Vietnam war: here.
Robert Kennedy and the Vietnam war: here.
John Lennon’s piano and George Michael: here.
John Sinclair: here.
FBI’s Hoover proposed internment of 12,000 “disloyal” Americans in 1950: here.