John & Yoko: ABOVE US ONLY SKY shares the untold story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s unique relationship, and the artistic journey that culminated in the iconic Imagine album. This feature-length documentary film, directed by Emmy Award Winner and Oscar nominee Michael Epstein, explores how the art, activism, politics and music of the pair lead to the creative and personal collaboration that defined an era.
A compelling new commentary follows the creative journeys John and Yoko took to arrive at Imagine, as well as their paths to the innovative music film Imagine and Yoko’s lesser-known but extraordinary album Fly. Through a deep dive into previously unreleased recordings, including the first demo of ‘Imagine’, and unseen film, as well as both archive and brand-new interviews, ABOVE US ONLY SKY lays bare childhoods scarred by inequality, racism, exploitation and the horrors of war—and later redeemed by love and art.
Yoko said, “Rock/pop songs appeal. They talk to people. And there’s nothing like that. Imagine was a result of that. Both of us knew that we were talking in a way that people understand. The fact that ‘Imagine’ as a song was written and put out in the world was magical. And I hope you will smell the magic of it. I feel in the big picture the fact that John and I met – was to do this song.”
As well as a new and exclusive interview with Yoko, the film features new interviews with those closest to the couple at that time, including John Lennon’s son Julian, photographer David Bailey who famously captured the couple in a 1971 photograph that graced the cover of Vogue, gallerist John Dunbar who set up Yoko’s first London art show and introduced the couple, Dan Richter, a neighbour of Yoko’s who became their personal assistant, pioneering studio designer Eddie Veale who built Ascot Sound Studios at their home in Tittenhurst Park, as well as Klaus Voormann, Alan White and Jim Keltner – musicians who all played on the Imagine album. These influential figures provide open and unprecedented insight to the Imagine narrative, alongside previously-unseen footage, photographs and audio recordings.
In John’s words can be found the central mission of ABOVE US ONLY SKY: to dig past the sweet exterior of Imagine, and in the process reclaim both the song’s radical vision and its fierce relevancy for a new generation.