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
For those who are too young to remember the real John Winston Ono Lennon -- this film is a good introduction to why he mattered so, why so many people were (and are) devoted to him as an artist and a man, why he was truly the most original voice of his generation.
The film is not perfect -- but in its defense, it covers an extraordinary amount of material and does it well.
Lennon lived 100 lifetimes between 1969 and 1975.
This film concentrates on the biggest conflict he faced at that time: his struggles to remain in the US, and the right-wing paranoia (exemplified by FBI director J Edgar Hoover and Nixon's hatchet man, John Ehrlichman.)
Lennon's sincerity, his naiveté, his charisma shine throughout.
Yoko has been attacked (so what else is new) for being such a strong presence in the film but she was right there beside him. They lived it all together. And she does not use her camera time to diminish him in any way.
Strong recommendation -- primarily because we have to remind ourselves that there are times to speak up and times to act.
John Lennon: we miss you so.
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