David Leaf and John Scheinfeld struggled for over 15 years to produce this documentary and its emergence in the year 2006 is a testament to the films timeliness. THE U.S. VS. JOHN LENNON focuses on a part of the music icons life that is often overlooked his politicisation both during and after the Vietnam War. Towards the end of the Beatles career Lennon began taking the band in a new direction using their popularity to circulate a message of peace in songs such as Revolution. He became even more involved after the band broke up and the film traces his growing awareness and dissent through both archival footage--much of which had lain forgotten in vaults for decades--and interviews with those close to him. This leads to the titular case in which the U.S. government which had already been monitoring his actions for some time attempted to deport the star for fear of the threat he posed to the nation. The film also portrays Lennons close relationship with Yoko Ono and the effect she had on his art including an interview with the Japanese performance artist and muse that sheds much light on the couples intimate history. Other interviews feature such luminaries as Mario Cuomo Gore Vidal Walter Cronkite Angela Davis and even G. Gordon Liddy the former chief operative under Richard Nixon. The film avoids falling into the trap of one-dimensional idolatry showing Lennons politicisation as reflective of his own spiritual path a very personal at times fallible journey towards using his fame to make the world a better place. The constraints and depletion of civil liberties Lennon experienced at the hands of the U.S. government then in the throws of a neo-McCarthyism invite comparisons to politics in 2006. The creative ways he fought for expression and peace meanwhile expand upon the known brilliance of a remarkable figure.
Becoming John Lennon featurette
Release Date: 02 April 2007
Certificate: 12 - Suitable for Persons Aged 12 or Over
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Sound: Dolby Digital
Production Year: 2006
Main Language: English