Parents' Guide to

June

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Docu on country trailblazer has language, addiction.

Movie NR 2024 98 minutes
June movie poster: Documentary about performer.

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While this documentary might initially appeal only to fans, it deserves a wider viewership and does a fine job of constructing an insightful portrait of an artist and woman who meant a lot to so many. As with any documentary about a beloved figure, you might wonder what was left out of June. But you'll forget this for a while, particularly when loved ones recount her final days; their still-devastated reactions to her passing in 2003 speak volumes. It also says a lot about Carter Cash as a human -- more than her fame or career successes -- that she was so seemingly universally loved and respected. Friends refer to her as a matriarch, a kind of godmother to many successful musicians across genres -- not least of whom was her third husband, Johnny Cash, whose shadow she lived under for many years and with whom she seems to have had a complicated but profound love story.

The documentary finds a theme in Carter Cash's ambition and professionalism of how ahead of her time she was. (Few know Carter Cash wrote "Ring of Fire," a song he made uber-famous.) A child star with a natural stage presence, she followed her dreams at a time when girls and women weren't expected to forge careers or be so independent. Specific insights stand out, like her notebooks full of performance notes, her boldness in moving with a young daughter to New York to study acting, or how she put Johnny's career ahead of her own for years. When she met Cash, she was already twice divorced (and he had a drug addiction). There's nothing innovative or flashy about the elements or construction of this film, but its down-home look and traditional style only serve to underscore the durability of Carter Cash's legacy.

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