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
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.
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I was in high school in 1980 when John Lennon was assassinated and all I really knew about him was that he was a musician and a member of the Beatles. I found this documentary fascinating, which gave an excellent insight into Lennon's participation in and effect on the anti-war movement in the US during the Vietnam War. I came away with a greater respect of the man and what he tried to do along with with his wife and the pressures they faced from the US government who wanted to silence them. Although some parts were something of a rehash about the anti-war movement in general, the skillful editing along with use of numerous interviews and recorded material still made it enjoyable and informative. One can not help but draw a comparison between this film and message and the on-going debate over the Iraq war, which I suspect was one of the goals of those who made it. I saw this film at a suburban Washington DC theater this weekend, and when one of the interviewees said "John Lennon represented light, and Mr. Nixon and Mr. Bush represented death" at least half the audience clapped. I guess it made its point to this audience. If you get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.
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