Beatles documentary provides a glimmer of hope in a dark time: Schneller

Scene from Anfield greatly contrasts that from last weekend in Charlottesville.

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years takes us back to the early 1960s.

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The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years takes us back to the early 1960s.

The Show: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (TMN)

The Moment: The soccer fans

At first, you can’t make out what they’re singing. Words on the screen read, “Anfield Football Ground, Liverpool, April 18, 1964.” The black-and-white image shows a sea of young men, hundreds of them jammed shoulder to shoulder. Their eyes are wide, their mouths open. They’re chanting something in unison.

Then you hear it: “She loves you, and you know that can’t be bad / She loves you, and you know you should be glad.” Grinning, they toss back their heads and trill, “Whoo!”

“We were all on the ship in the ‘60s,” John Lennon says in footage taped years later. “Not just Beatles, but our movement, our generation. And we went somewhere.”

I can’t shake those images from Charlottesville, Va., last Saturday: the young men holding torches, or dressed in camo and machine guns, parading unhassled by police. I’m heartsick. That’s not only my country, University of Virginia is also my alma mater. I spent many hours lounging on that lawn in front of the Rotunda, the former library that Thomas Jefferson made the campus’s centrepiece.

UVa has shame in its history: it was built by slaves, segregated, didn’t admit women until the 1970s. As is Trump’s inexplicable, continued insistence on blaming “both sides." Seeing that hate-fuelled mob flood over it, however, was a new low.

So when I was flipping channels the other night, and happened upon the scene above from Ron Howard’s documentary — men of a similar age, but singing a love song instead of rampaging — it made me sob. But it also gave me a moment of hope when I badly needed it.

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