Top critical review
Imitation of life, Country Style
Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2020
Even in 2020, there seems to be a real hesitancy to admit this was a woman of color. Even if she was Sicilian, they were conquered by the Moors (AFRICANS), and have plenty of ethnic looking people to this date. My good friend, who is African-American could have played Vivian in the movie. They're almost identical. They reason why Vivian doesn't get more attention is because country music consumers is still largely racist, and June Carter has to be their rockabilly savior to cleanse their icon's past! o matter how you spin it, this looks like (and is) an ethnic woman. As far as the Johnny Cash tribute, Roseanne could have included her Mother. As a country star herself, they would not have deleted it. She also could have insisted on sharing the stage with her Mother. It seems like she kept her Mother a secret as well. Now since inclusion is king, here we are! I especially laughed at the part where they try to explain their Mother's darker skin in the picture form the article. She had varying shades of brown skin for the whole movie! Advice for the whole family: do one of those ancestry dna swabs and come to turn with your African History. You'll sleep better at night. Now back to the doc. I loved the nuances, and how the Director played with stock footage to create a moment. At some point, it would have been great if Vivian had shown some desire for life beyond Johnny. Or maybe that's the way the doc painted her life. As a modern woman, it was hard to relate to, but I get that she was a woman of her time. I think the real story here is why country music still feels the need to erase her, and how her ethnicity was vilified. My guess is that is why she stayed in the shadows, knowing how she would be perceived. Johnny blew up bigger than he had ever dreamed, and he felt saddled with this brown wife. I would love to hear more about that playing into his desertion of his family, because I bet it did. He substituted her for a woman who looked straight out of Appalachia, and let her pretend to be his children's' Mother. Those are some deep seeded issues right there! The doc barely scratched the surface when questioning the daughters. Just my opinion. This was nice and light, and chose to focus on the surface issue of a woman scorned, unwilling to dig deeper because it's afraid that the scab covers a bigger sore than they're ready to handle.