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When South by Southwest was abruptly canceled in mid-March just days before it was set to start due to the then-brewing coronavirus pandemic, a number of artists were robbed of a chance to get global exposure.
Amazon Prime is looking to fix that, screening an assortment of documentaries and shorts for free for a limited time. In all, 39 films are available to watch through May 6 as part of an unprecedented move by the streaming giant.
Music is a common theme in a number of the films.
“(South by Southwest) has always championed creators forging their own paths to success, often with just the right mix of passion, vision and radical experimentation to make their dreams happen,” Janet Pierson, the festival’s director of film, said in a statement.
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Arguably, the offering generating the most buzz thus far is “My Darling Vivian,” a documentary that explores Johnny Cash’s relationship with first wife, Vivian Liberto, mother to his four daughters.
The couple married in 1954 and divorced in 1966.
“My Darling Vivian,” directed by Matt Riddlehoover and produced by Dustin Tittle, promises 90 minutes of never-before-seen footage and photos. Tittle is the grandson of Liberto and Cash.
Cash married June Carter in 1968. Both died in 2003.
“My mother’s own story has often been lost or misinterpreted to serve a myth,” daughter Rosanne Cash says in promotional materials for the film. “This elegant film about her ― the real Vivian Liberto, not the Hollywood version ― is painful but compassionate, wrenching but true.
“Even though she was an intensely private woman, I think she longed to have her story told, and her place in the history of my family acknowledged with respect and love. My sisters and I are deeply moved by and grateful for ‘My Darling Vivian.’ “
Other South by Southwest music films to check out
- “Le Choc du Futur”:This arthouse drama runs an hour and 19 minutes and follows the journey of a female musician trying to make a name for herself in France’s male-dominated music scene during the late 1970s. Using unconventional instruments, she creates “the music of the future,” cementing her place in history. Alma Jodorowsky, Philippe Rebbot and Clara Luciani star.
- “Broken Orchestra”: This 13-minute short takes a look at the Symphony for a Broken Orchestra program, which rehabs worn musical instruments taken from Philadelphia’s public schools and returns them to needy students. Currently, there are an estimated 1,000 unusable instruments in need of repairs.
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