In the 1950s, a teenage Werner Herzog was transfixed by a film performance of the young Klaus Kinski. Years later, they would share an apartment where, in an unabated, 48 hour fit of rage, ... See full summary »
After background about the childhood and youth of John Lennon (1940-1980) and the birth of Vietnam-War protests, the film plunges into Lennon's quest for world peace: compositions such as "Give Peace a Chance", the lie-in following his marriage to Yoko Ono, appearances at concerts, "War Is Over" posters, and plans for a series of concerts in 1972 in U.S. presidential primary states reach newly-enfranchised young voters. This plan for concerts, in particular, led a prominent Senator, the FBI's J. Edgar Hoover, and Nixon's White House to initiate a concerted and illegal effort to deport Lennon. Thirty talking heads, led by Yoko, comment on Lennon and these events. Written by
Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. If "The U.S. vs. John Lennon" is anything, it's an examination of the similarities between the Nixon Administration and the national debacle that was the Vietnam War, compared to the current Bush Administration and the national debacle that is the Iraq War. The difference, of course, is that Nixon had John and Yoko Lennon to contend with. Who do we have to lead our protests and write our anthems? Michael Moore? Not good enough.
When Lennon moved to New York City in 1970, the Nixon Administration was terrified that he had the power to organize the anti-war protesters and affect the outcome of elections (particularly Nixon's 1972 run for re-election). Lennon was wiretapped and followed by the FBI (which was being used at that time to "quell decent"). The Immigration and Naturalization Service tried for five years to deport him, but he got a lawyer and fought back, and in 1976, on his birthday, on his son Sean's birthday, he learned that he and Yoko had won their case, and they could stay.
"The U.S. vs. John Lennon" makes you want to take a stand, organize a protest, demand peace, and stick it to the man!
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