Leaf & Scheinfeld: The U.S. vs. John Lennon

The film was released in December 2006 but I did not get to see it before this saturday afternoon, thanks to SVT, Swedish Television: The story about John Lennon being harrassed by the American authorities during the Nixon administration. He was considered an enemy of the state with his constant Peace manifestations in and out of bed with Yoko Ono at his side. Ending with a deportation notice that was never put into action due to a strong lawyer who was able to prolong the court case again and again, until Nixon was re-elected in 1972 and the White House forgot about this rebel from Liverpool.

It is a highly entertaining documentary, a déjà vu, all in the film is known, it is a repetition but a lovely one for one who grew up with Lennon. Who was at the Beatles concert in Copenhagen in 1964 as a young fan, and who was walking the streets of London on December 9 1980 on holiday with wife and mother, facing the breaking news: John Lennon Shot Dead.

Totally formatted and an overwhelming praise to Lennon documentary: interviews (first and foremost Yoko Ono but also George McGovern and Bobby Seale and Angela Davis), archives from concerts and interviews with Lennon and the bed-in´s in Amsterdam and Montréal, and music all over. All we are Saying is Give Peace a Chance… Retro nostalgia, yes, history, yes, the film about Lennon, no.  

2006, 99 mins.


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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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