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Spiritual portrait of Johnny Cash screens at SXSW / The Hollywood Reporter

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In only the best senses of the comparison, documentarian Thom Zimny is becoming the Ken Burns of American roots music. Having made a series of laser-focused films on Bruce Springsteen and a revelatory two-part doc on Elvis Presley (The Searcher, which played last year's SXSW), the director offers another portrait that rises above fannishness while fully acknowledging its subject's legacy. In The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, he scrapes away a lifetime's worth of crud - the overfamiliarity, reputational cliche and greatest-hits shallowness that attaches to all great artists - to get closer to the essence of the man. Less a work of musicology than a spiritual portrait, it may generate slightly less awe than The Searcher did; but it does right by Cash, and furthers the impression that Zimny should be funded to make a dozen such movies, each at whatever length its subject demands. Quickly, please. Check it out at South By Southwest Film Festival tonight March 9, 2019

READ THE FULL Hollywood Reporter REVIEW