By Mark Saldana
Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)
As a fan of Johnny Cash and his music, and perhaps an even bigger fan of the movie Walk the Line, I knew a documentary about his famous in-laws, the Carter Family, was something I shouldn’t miss. In the 1920s, the Carters began a career in folk/roots music that would have a lasting impact for decades. Alvin Pleasant Delaney Carter, his wife Sara, and his sister-in-law Maybelle started it all. Maybelle would later go on to perform with her daughters including June, who would eventually marry Johnny Cash. The Cash’s and Carters are considered country music royalty because their innovations in musicianship and songwriting will continue to inspire for many generations to come.
Director Beth Harrington has made a fascinating and informative documentary which covers a lot of ground in just a short 87 minute run time. This obviously is a labor of love for Harrington, who has worked really hard to get this film completed. The constraints of her budget are pretty obvious, as the film looks a tad unpolished, but whatever is lacking in production value, Harrington makes up for this with the heart and soul she puts into this project. Harrington, a musician herself, obviously has been influenced by the Carter and Cash families and this is her love song for these icons of music.