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MY DARLING VIVIAN

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DIRECTED, PRODUCED AND EDITED BY MATT RIDDLEHOOVER

In 1951, Catholic schoolgirl Vivian Liberto meets handsome Air Force cadet Johnny Cash at her local San Antonio, Texas roller-skating rink. Their whirlwind summer romance lays the foundation for a feverish three-year-long correspondence while Johnny is stationed in Germany. One thousand letters later, the two marry upon his return in 1954. Within a year, a career blossoms and a family is started. By 1961, Johnny Cash is a household name, number one on the music charts, and perpetually on tour. Meanwhile, only two weeks postpartum, Vivian settles into their custom-built home in Casitas Springs, California with their four young daughters. Plagued by bobcats, rattlesnakes, all-hours visits from fans, and a growing resentment toward her husband's absence, Vivian is pushed to the breaking point when she is targeted by hate groups over a mistaken perception that she is Black. Meanwhile her husband has become increasingly dependent upon drugs. In MY DARLING VIVIAN, we will meet the first Mrs. Cash as her daughters, Rosanne, Kathy, Cindy, and Tara, share with us first hand, for the first time, their story of love, isolation, fear, heartbreak, and survival.

USA    2020    90 MINS.    THE FILM COLLABORATIVE

Reviews

“Thoroughly engrossing, often heartbreaking… looks at the promising beginnings and turbulent end of Liberto’s romance and family life with Cash via intimate, never-before-seen footage, photographs, and a wealth of personal letters the two wrote to each other while Cash served in the military.”
– Stephen L. Betts, Rolling Stone

“Brings a woman erased into vivid focus. An engaging and revelatory film that’s also deeply affecting…relates a little-known love story, great in its own right – and immortalized in Cash’s 'I Walk the Line.' And it offers a nuanced portrait, loving but not fawning, of a complex woman.” 
– Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

“An exceptional documentary… a fascinating and affecting corrective counterpoint to the Johnny Cash mythos.” 
– Joe Leydon, Variety