Buy This Film
2006
Rated: PG for adult language, and mild violence.
Genre: Documentary Music
Directed By: David Leaf, John Scheinfeld
Running Time: 1:39
Review by: Felix Vasquez Jr.
Review Date: 1/30/07

THE U.S. vs. JOHN LENNON

 


Gore Vidal: John Lennon was a born enemy of those who control the United States, which I always say was admirable. Lennon came to represent life, while Mr. Nixon... and Mr. Bush... represent death.

The United States government’s greatest foes have never been terrorists, or communists, Nazis, nor the KKK, not even drugs. What the US Government considers their greatest foe are the peaceful speakers who can rally folks with their words. Are you aware that right now many people who have never committed a crime their life, yet only seek to rally those with peaceful words of inspiration and intellect are considered to be terrorists?

Are you aware that those same folks who’d never even strike a child are considered dangerous threats to the government? Why? Because free thought can really bring people to open their minds and see things clearer. Abbie Hoffman, Martin Luther King Jr., Hunter S. Thompson, John F. Kennedy, George Carlin, I could go on forever.

These people managed to gain legions of followers through free thinking, and powerful speech, and these folks were considered the biggest threat. To that list? John Lennon. He wasn’t intent on rallying folks, he didn’t want to strike against the government, he just wanted to speak his mind, and enjoy being a US citizen and he paid for it. John Lennon who spoke openly about the Vietnam war, and US tyranny was considered a threat. And that’s why to this day, his songs of protest, and open minded pleads are still considered volatile.  

John Lennon was one of a kind. And the US sought out to bring him down for that, because he knew, he spoke, and he encouraged others to learn and speak as well. Because one thing is true: speaking out against your government makes you more of an American patriot than rallying behind it blindly.

“The US vs. John Lennon” is probably one of the most underrated documentaries of 2006, it’s the story of a man rebelling against the Vietnam war, and then rebelling against his own country which led to a rather interesting conspiracy that reflects many of the rebels from Hoffman to King. Phone tapping, harassment, and the inevitable deportation of Lennon for speaking out against the government is what chronicled, along with rare and utterly powerful footage featuring Lennon who was genuinely frightened of the events taking place before his mysterious death. What’s surprising is that director Leaf and Scheinfeld, and many of the folks interviewed make the very subtle suggestions that the murder of Lennon wasn’t entirely just an isolated incident of an obsessed fan towards his hero.

Whether or not you choose to believe this, you can’t deny that the fact Lennon told his friends that if he died it wasn’t by accident, is a bit suspicious. Tempt the thought after watching the ordeal Lennon suffered for his open minded views against government tyranny. My sheer love for the Beatles notwithstanding, Lennon was not just a rebel, but he was one who influenced speaking against your government’s policies and a horrible unjust war. He was a real hero, and even in death, they couldn’t destroy him.

If Lennon were alive today, he’d be protesting the Iraq war. Without a doubt. We miss him. “The US vs. John Lennon” is a powerful statement about how in a country of “democracy,” the peace keepers are deemed the most dangerous to civilization.

  • On September 12, 2001, the FCC gave radio stations a list of music they could not play at risk of inciting riots and war. On the list were numerous Beatles and Lennon songs, including “Revolution,” which was not actually a protest song.

 

 

 


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