My Father and the Man in Black – review

Johnny Cash, Bremen, September 1972

The director of this documentary is the son of Canadian agent and impresario Saul Holiff, who was Johnny Cash's manager in the 1960s and 70s and killed himself in 2005 just as the film Walk the Line was reviving interest in Cash.

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Why did Cash break with Holiff, and why wasn't he mentioned in the movie? More importantly, why did Saul ignore his son and why didn't he leave him a note? This film is rather like BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, but with altogether too many scenes re-enacted by lookalikes. Neither Holiff nor Cash come well out of the film, but (based on a cache left by Saul in a storage room) it has some interesting answers as to showbusiness, religion (Canadian Jew meets born-again southern Baptist) and inheritance.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Philip French, for The Observer on Sunday 4th August 2013 00.03 Europe/London

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image: © Heinrich Klaffs