Before Iraq, before the Bush Administration, before the Dixie Chicks, Bruce Springsteen and Pearl Jam … there was John Lennon, the celebrated musician who used his fame and his fortune to protest against the Vietnam War and advocate for world peace. The U.S government were so worried about the popularity and influence of this anti-war activist and inspirational icon, that they initiated a campaign to silence him.
Using fascinating archive footage and insightful interviews with those who knew him well, THE U.S VS. JOHN LENNON tells the story of that campaign. Celebrating the wonderful music that Lennon made throughout this time, and up until his tragic murder in 1980, David Leaf and John Scheinfeld’s rivetting hit film THE U.S VS. JOHN LENNON will be available to buy on DVD for the first time from 2 April.
Focusing primarily on the decade from 1966 – 1976, THE U.S VS. JOHN LENNON begins with Lennon's arrival in the States post-Beatles, when he immediately rattled the authorities by successfully campaigning for the release of a prisoner on cannabis charges. His subsequent association with the Black Panthers and self-proclaimed revolutionaries ensured that his case eventually landed on the desk of Richard Nixon himself. Nixon's reaction was swift and harsh: to refute Lennon's visa and throw him out of the country.
But it is John Lennon’s spirit, like his music, which shines through THE U.S VS. JOHN LENNON. With unprecedented access to the Lennon-Ono archives, enabling them to draw upon never-before seen or heard footage, the film makers have captured a side of Lennon that will be new to many - a loving family man who was witty, irreverent, charming, playful and outspoken. And in a series of in-depth interviews, Yoko Ono shares her personal memories, evoking as no one else can the realities of the couple’s daily lives; their hopes and happiness; and their long ordeal at the hands of the U.S. government.
With a host of extras, including ‘Then and Now’, in which notable figures from the era make alarming comparisons between Nixon’s goverenment and the current Bush administration, and ‘Letter to the Parole Board’, a moving letter from Yoko Ono to the Parole Board, THE U.S VS. JOHN LENNON is fascinating viewing for music lovers, as well as anyone who is interested in an extraordinary period in U.S history.