|Photo I took outside of the movie theater in 2006|
Since I have just read the Leon Wildes book (review coming soon), I wanted to watch the DVD of The U.S. vs. John Lennon. Overall it is a good film. Yoko looks amazing in the movie and she comes across very intelligent and thoughtful. She usually impresses me when she is interviewed for documentaries, but I especially enjoyed Yoko in this one. I thought they did a nice job of keeping John's input alive in the film through a variety of clips from over the years. Also a good selection of people from the early 1970's in John Lennon's life was interviewed so you were able to hear all sides of the story. The clips that were used were great and the highlight of the film. I loved seeing John coming and going into the INS office and the footage of him getting his green card is amazing!
I thought too much time was spent on John's activities prior to coming to the United States in 1971. I understand that background information was necessary, but way too much time was spent on the Bed-in and Bagism and things along those lines because there are other films that just focus on the Bed-in and while it is important to the story, it was just too long. I wanted to watch and hear more about the immigration hearings and see more footage and photos from that time instead. There was one man that was interviewed that made a very bold statement about how John Lennon equates to life and Nixon and Bush lead to death. I remember when I heard that in 2006, and I thought "wow--that is pretty bold," but today, in 2016, it just seems like an outdated statement. I wish he had left Bush out of the statement because it just takes us out of John and Yoko in the 1970's and suddenly puts us in a decade where John isn't alive.
I personally didn't like the film ending with the gun shots and John's death. I would have loved to have ended it with John smiling with his green card, however that isn't' very realistic. I know that the filmmakers had to go further and include his murder and maybe what I really don't like is that John was murdered. That he worked so hard to get his green card and stay in the United States just to be killed in the country that he struggled to be in. I didn't like the feeling of the harsh reality of it all, which isn't to blame the film in any way, because they can't change how John's story ended.
I have heard that The U.S. vs. John Lennon is being shown on television here in the U.S. on cable channels. It is worth watching, especially if you are a John Lennon fan and want to see some rare interview and news clips. But just be expected to shake your head at what happens in this country and for a very tragic and sad ending.