Ono said she was trying to be "practical" in asking that Mark David Chapman remain behind bars for fatally shooting the pop legend on Dec. 8, 1980, outside Lennon's Manhattan apartment building. Chapman, who has been repeatedly denied parole, is up for review again this month in New York State.
Lennon's widow said Chapman might be a danger to her, other family members and perhaps even himself. She did not elaborate.
At his last parole hearing, Chapman said he was ashamed and sorry for gunning down the former Beatle. He told the parole board he understood the gravity of his actions and was a changed man.
"LennonNYC," airing Nov. 22 as part of the "American Masters" public TV series, includes rare studio recordings, concert film outtakes and home movies, producer Susan Lacy said. Ono provided access and was among those interviewed for the documentary.
Reviewing her life with Lennon was "painful" at times, Ono said, but provided the chance to show him as a "three-dimensional person" and to explore his ultimately tragic affection for New York.
The film "is about New York, the city he was in love with and strangely, the city that he loved so much, it killed him," Ono said. "It was his love, and it was his death."
Lennon would have been 70 in October.