For the Other Half of the Sky documentary review

★★★

Directed by: Nathalie Moreira

Film Review by: Jason Knight

News Footage Still about John Lennon's murder

The 8th of December 2020 will mark the fortieth anniversary of John Lennon's passing.


Lennon was an English singer, songwriter and peace activist and known for being the founder, co-lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist of the Beatles, the rock band that is considered to be the most influential band of all time. His murder in 1980 by Mark David Chapman shocked the world.


This short documentary consists of archive footage from the time Lennon died. It includes a news presenter announcing the killing and many shots of the busy streets of New York City, showing cars and people moving in slow motion. It also contains shots of the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and breathtaking establishing shots of New York buildings from above. The footage is quite old and damaged and as the viewers watch it, in a way, they are brought back to those days.


While the images of this city are shown, they are accompanied by voice-over from two individuals: Lennon and Chapman. Their voices are recordings from interviews. Lennon is answering questions about dying, while Chapman describes the actions he took the day he committed the murder. Listening to Chapman's calm voice as he recounts his terrible deed is rather chilling.


The main focus of this interesting documentary is obviously the death of Lennon, although there is no footage of him or Chapman. The only time Lennon is seen is when a picture of him is shown during the news report. However his voice is heard a lot throughout when he talks about himself and when songs he performed are played. The documentary shows a great deal of New York, ostensibly because it is the city where this unforgettable individual breathed his last. With that in mind, Lennon has become a permanent part of this city.


This project is a tribute to Lennon. It reveals how the world lost him. At the same time, it gives an insight to the kind of person he was, by making the viewer listen to his answers regarding his mortality. It will likely provide the audience with a thoughtful experience.

#JasonKnight