The U.S. vs. John Lennon Reviews
Readers tempted to write off that episode as yet another paranoid fantasy of The Left should take heed: The U.S. vs. John Lennon includes the firsthand testimony of the spies themselves, from apostate FBI agents to the unapologetic G. Gordon Liddy.
The documentary's a hagiography, no mistake about it, but a fascinating one all the same, and it makes the case that Lennon was as much a genius provocateur as he was a cracked saint.
While there is nothing particularly new in the film, it is a stirring celebration of a man of enormous talent, humor and humanity, laid waste by an assassin in New York in 1980.
Works by reminding us of Lennon's best qualities: His impish, imperturbable sense of humor, his quick intelligence, his successful bantering with a hostile crush of world press mercenaries.
It's full-up with footage that shows the hero of the Yoko Ono-sanctioned film to be as witty, entertaining and dependably charismatic as ever, and rarely as simple-minded as his detractors would have it.
In exploring a little-known story of political persecution, The U.S. vs. John Lennon also sheds some unexpected light on the uneven and still undigested career of one of the most paradoxical artists pop culture has yet produced.