The U.S. vs. John Lennon | Chicago Reader

The U.S. vs. John Lennon

Another installment in the singer's deification, this one focusing on his career as an activist. Lennon's most politically potent anthems tended to be dreamily disengaged (“All You Need Is Love,” “Give Peace a Chance,” “Imagine”); when he threw himself into agitprop in the early 70s the results were uniformly excruciating (“War Is Over,” “Power to the People,” the Sometime in New York City LP). Writer-directors David Leaf and John Scheinfeld aren't about to admit that, but they've assembled interesting news and performance footage to trace Lennon and Yoko Ono's antiwar activism from their wacky bed-ins through their dalliance with Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin and their persecution by President Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. Among the talking heads are Ono, Geraldo Rivera, Gore Vidal, George McGovern, Bobby Seale, Angela Davis, and G. Gordon Liddy. PG-13, 96 min.

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