Film Review: My Father and the Man In Black | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Father and the Man In Black

Studio: New Chapter Productions
Directed by Jonathan Holiff

Sep 06, 2013 Issue #47 - September/October 2013 - MGMT
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When he committed suicide, retired talent agent Saul Holiff left behind no note to explain his reasons to his adult sons. Filmmaker Jonathan Holiff embarked on a journey to try and understand his estranged father, piecing together this portrait from a sealed storage locker full of letters, journals, memorabilia, and recordings of phone calls between his father and Johnny Cash.

Saul Holiff was manager, friend, and mentor to the Man in Black through the most turbulent years of his career, from the soaring highs—number one hits, international tours, San Quentin and Folsom Prison—to the destructive lows—lawsuits, arrests, divorce, and an overdose—in the 1960s and early 70s. From the ephemera culled from his father’s personal records, his son narrates a compelling, personal journey for viewers as he discovers how a Jewish Canadian businessman hooked up with a boisterous Southern Baptist, and the exact nature of his dad’s relationship with one of the century’s biggest pop icons. Cash fans will should find this documentary quite gripping, as rare photos and audio excerpts offer intimate, behind-the-scenes glimpses at many crucial moments of the troubled artist’s career. It’s certainly a more enlightening look than any big-budget Hollywood biopic could offer.

Author rating: 7/10

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