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The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Tom’s Recommended Film of the Week

Without a doubt I would highly recommend The U.S. vs. John Lennon. For a child of the 60’s, I must say it brought back memories and filled in some blanks. We 60’s kids had plenty thrown at us and we were quick to learn that things did not have to remain as they had always been, regardless of what authority figures were telling us. Music helped bring that realization home with a sweet note and that feeling comes through with this film written and directed by David Leaf and John Scheinfeld. The generation before me remembers where they were when John Kennedy was shot and my generation remembers where they were when John Lennon was shot. That’s true not only because Lennon did audacious things, but also because he created audacious music, which struck a cord in us and made us wake up and think for ourselves. This documentary covers the time from The Beatles U.S. invasion until Lennons assasination. No conspiracy theories, or wild stuff, just a good look at how Lennon developed as a person of the world. People interviewed come from both sides of the fence: Carl Bernstein, G. Gordon Liddy, Walter Cronkite, George McGovern, John Dean, Bobby Seale, Gore Vidal and many others. That diversity of opinion and reference point are a key element in broadening the scope of this film to mesh Lennon’s approach to life and human responsibility with the ever shifting map of those highly political Nixon driven Vietnam War years. If you lived through it, or are saddled with a parent who did, take the time to find and view this film. I’d recommend watching all the extras also, as some were even more startling than the film. 

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