U.S. versus John Lennon film - audience reaction -- by SeÃ¡n Kinane12/18/06
Last Friday, the documentary film â€œU.S. versus John Lennonâ€? opened in Tampa at the Tampa Theatre. It tells the story of John Lennon and Yoko Onoâ€™s anti-war activism in the United States in the early 1970s and how that made the Nixon administration feel threatened. WMNFs SeÃ¡n Kinane reports.
John Lennon was followed by the FBI and eventually threatened with deportation by the INS because the Nixon administration felt that his activism could rally young people to vote and to take a stand against the Vietnam War. WMNF spoke with several audience members after the film. A common theme among them was that they see similarities in the crackdown on political dissent between the Nixon administration and the current Bush administration.
â€œIt made me very, very sad. I think itâ€™s a very import message for right now, but it made me sad because I realize how much of a tight bind weâ€™re in really, and whatâ€™s going on is immensely crucial. It sort of indicates that he was killed, who knows exactly what went on, but we all have to watch our backs.
â€œI think that these are some of the truths that are starting to bubble up to the surface that were sort of taboo and silenced for so long and itâ€™s very important that theyâ€™re out now.
It also taught me how much of an activist he was, I wasnâ€™t really aware of that, I was just a part of that whole thing, and that was important, too.â€?
â€œIâ€™d like to know where the peace movement is today. Why isnâ€™t this very immoral war weâ€™re in today getting this kind of response? Where are the John Lennons today?â€?
â€œBasically I just loved it, man. I wasnâ€™t born until 1981. I love Beatles and I love John Lennon. And I just wanted to come to see this movie because I heard a lot of good things about it, but I wanted to relate it to current US policy. We see a lot of parallels from the late sixties and early seventies that we see today. I just love stuff like that.â€?
â€œIt was a lot better than I expected. All the archiving was done really well. It was presented really well, so the whole thing, I was interested the whole time in following it. It was really great. It seems like people were more open to protesting and getting out there. Now it seems that people are fearful. Itâ€™s kind of understandable after seeing everything that went down. Thatâ€™s my take. I thought it was great, go see itâ€?
â€œI thought it was excellent, I thought it was really good documentary. It was very well put together. Thereâ€™s like this dÃ©jÃ vu, itâ€™s the same old thing. You hear the same stories: if you donâ€™t support the war, you werenâ€™t patriotic about the Vietnam War, which I was in by the way and you hear the same thing today. If you donâ€™t support the war, youâ€™re not patriotic, and itâ€™s just not trueâ€?
â€œI think itâ€™s very illuminating, given the fact that we donâ€™t really know what happened with Lennon in the sixties. I also think itâ€™s kind of a shame because for some reason I donâ€™t think we can rally people as we could back then. I donâ€™t know why that is. I donâ€™t know if thereâ€™s a fear thatâ€™s present now that wasnâ€™t present back then. it creates a precedent. It shows you what can happen if you do this or if you do that. With our current government I think itâ€™s very much along the same lines as it was then. Iâ€™m really glad I saw it, I think itâ€™s illuminating as I said and I think more people should come see it.â€?
The film â€œU.S. versus John Lennonâ€? is playing at Tampa Theatre this Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
For WMNF News, Iâ€™m SeÃ¡n Kinane
US versus John Lennon
Gimme Some Truth, The John Lennon FBI Files