When John and Yoko Called for World Peace, From Bed
From a hotel room, Lennon and Ono made an intimate protest, a gesture of beauty, rebellion, humility, and love, in a work called simply “Bed Peace.”
John Lennon and Yoko Ono were married in Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. That same year, the couple devoted themselves to imagining and demanding world peace. The campaign culminated with Bed Peace. The documentary film, overflowing with poetic struggle, was pursued, to put it briefly, as the epitome of a common good: peace among men.
Directed by Lennon and Ono, and filmed by Nic Knowland, the audiovisual work portrays the couple in conversations with characters and international press people that took place in a hotel room (decorated by the couple) in Montreal between May 26 and 31, 1969.
Among those in conversation during the idyllic session, by telephone and in person, having breakfast, and resting in pajamas on the ubiquitous bed, were the comedian Tommy Smothers, Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, activists Timothy and Rosemary Leary, and the filmmaker Jonas Mekas, along with protesters from numerous social movements.
A romantic video-crusade, it’s also a powerful ritual calling for peaceful revolution and loving rebellion. The work demands common ground for the cultivation of human dignity, peace, and remains as valid today as at the time when it was produced.
To commemorate this tribute to peace, Yoko Ono recently re-presented the video accompanied by a poignant and visionary message:
In 1969, John and I were so naïve to think that doing the Bed-In would help change the world.
Well, it might have. But at the time, we didn’t know.
It was good that we filmed it, though.
The film is powerful now.
What we said then could have been said now.
In fact, there are things that we said then in the film, which may give some encouragement and inspiration to the activists of today. Good luck to us all.
Let’s remember WAR IS OVER If We Want It.
It’s up to us, and nobody else.
John would have wanted to say that.
Image: Creative Commons
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