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FCFF Film Club Presents: My Father and the Man in Black

For Johnny Cash fans, My Father and the Man in Black is an unmissable exploration into his rocky relationship with longtime manager Saul Holiff. One straight-laced, the other rebellious, the two made quite a pair.

“It was Saul who pushed me to take my career to another level,” Cash said in his autobiography. And so the man behind Johnny Cash was Canadian, born here in London.

Tragedy strikes in 2005, and Jonathan’s search into his father’s past leads him to a collection of memories — scrapbooks, photos, and boxes of Saul’s audio diaries. Saul would pour his thoughts, concerns, and insecurities into microphones as he toured the globe with Cash. The tapes tell a sad story and reveal a side to Saul that Jonathan never saw at home. It’s a side that Jonathan shares with us, in a personal, touching way. Saul expresses regret and questions his role as a father. It goes a long way to create understanding and empathy. After all, that’s what this is about.

June, Johnny, Saul

My Father and the Man in Black is a sad story, but it doesn’t mire in tragedy. It’s too interesting, too clever. Against the backdrop of Johnny Cash and Saul Holiff’s turbulent relationship, director Jonathan Holiff succeeds in telling the story of his own relationship with his father, Saul. It’s a son’s journey to understanding his father — a man who worked and lived in the shadow of the Man in Black. 

My Father And The Man In Black screens online at FCFF Film Club on Saturday, June 20, 7pm onwards. Our patrons will get exclusive access to the film and the interactive Q&A with Jonathan Holiff for over 24 hours.

This post was originally published at forestcityfilmfest.ca and written by Will Sharpe.