"When the Man in Black died in September 2003, he closed an original and captivating chapter in the great American songbook. Even as death approached, Johnny Cash displayed the hardscrabble grit, authentic individualism and knack for doing the unexpected that had made him an American icon — his powerful video cover of Trent Reznor's 'Hurt,' showing him visibly ailing but resolute, was nominated for six MTV Video Music Awards that year. It had been a long, perhaps improbable, but certainly American journey for a sharecropper's son from Kingsland, Ark., and it had more ups and downs and surprising turns than a country road.
In 1968, Robert Elfstrom (who went on to an award-winning career as a cinematographer and director) had the foresight to make a documentary on Cash — and the luck to strike up a warm and candid rapport with the temperamental singer. By then, Cash, who had begun his career in the late 1950s, had won over country music audiences with his uniquely intense 'underdog' ballads and was experiencing the first of several crossover successes withthe album Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison. He had also been through early bouts of 'fast living' — alcohol and drugs — and had recently married the great love and stabilizing force in his life, June Carter (of the Carter Family Singers). Elfstrom's Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music, made verite-style over several months in late 1968 and early 1969, both on and off the road, remains the definitive portrait of a great American troubadour at the peak of his powers.
'Johnny Cash: The Man, His World, His Music' comes closer than any film has — or likely ever will — to getting inside the troubled and faithful man who "walked the line" in music and life. The film is the leader in a handful of powerful documentaries chronicling the rousing and turbulent singer/songwriter who changed the face of popular American music in the late 20th century."
more info: http://www.pbs.org/pov/pov2008/johnnycash/
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