There’s a lot of Johnny Cash media out there, so I’m convinced that the more narrow the focus, the better. This gives me hope for the newest documentary about The Man in Black. Zeroing in on Cash’s long lasting faith crisis, “Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon” features interviews with Wynonna Judd, Joanne Cash Yates, Tim McGraw, Marty Stuart and a plethora of others.
To be frank, the trailer is a bit dramatic. The first half seems overly committed to establishing how edgy Cash was in his most godless moments, and the latter half is oddly saccharine. At the 1:45 mark, an epic, wordless chorus full of “oh”s – a sort of dead ringer for worship music – butts in and gives the whole enterprise a contemporary megachurch vibe. That said, the film is supposed to be chock full of never-before-heard interviews with Cash himself, which redeems the effort for me. “I forgave myself. When God forgave me, I figured I better do it too,” he says in voiceover.
CALS, in partnership with the Historic Dyess Colony and Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, is hosting an early screening at Ron Robinson Theater on Thursday, Dec. 1, but the event is sold out. However, you can watch it with the rest of the world when it hits theaters for a limited, three-day run on Dec. 5-7.