The Beatles were like aliens from the future in 1969 - and they are still as radical today | Jonathan Freedland

Tout sur les Beatles

Beatles / Tout sur les Beatles 67 Views comments

In a postwar Britain divided by class identity and economic decline, they were complex, emotional men whose music still thrills

They Shall Not Grow Old was the title Peter Jackson gave to the first documentary he made, and he could have named his latest exactly the same way. Instead it is called Get Back, and while the earlier film restored archive footage of the young British men who fought the first world war, this new one – nearly eight hours long and making its debut in three parts this weekend – does the same for the young British men who conquered the world by more peaceful means; four of them to be precise, known for ever as the Beatles.

Obsessives across the globe have had their anoraks zipped up in readiness for a while, eager to study the differences between the ninth and 13th take of Don’t Let Me Down, but the resonance of these films is not confined to muso aficionados alone. On the contrary, they have something to say to anyone interested in Britain and how it’s changed – and in the universal themes of friendship, creativity, regret, loss and time.

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