Phoenix Takes Cash Film to Folsom Prison

12/22/2005 at 10:00 AM EST

Phoenix Takes Cash Film to Folsom Prison
Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix
20th Century FOX
It's back to the scene of the crime, so to speak, for Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon.

Folsom State Prison near Sacramento, Calif., has asked 20th Century Fox to screen the film for its prisoners, and Phoenix, who plays Cash in the movie, has agreed to attend the screening, Variety reports.

Folsom Prison proved to be a pivotal point in Cash's career when the "Man in Black" played a live concert there in 1968 at the request of many inmates. The show came at a time when Cash's own life was nearly in shambles.

"Only 13 days before the concert, (Cash's) previous marriage had completely dissolved, he was just kicking drugs, and it was the first time he was really able to look clear-eyed to June Carter as both a husband and father. And as an artist for the first time he was in control of the black horse that was dragging him down," Walk the Line director James Mangold tells Variety.

Cash's concert not only inspired the performer, it inspired many inmates as well. It's a tradition Phoenix hopes the screening can continue.

"John believed in the power of redemption and offered his unique gift to anyone who needed to find it within then, and in the process, he inspired millions," Phoenix said. "I can think of no greater way to honor him than to carry on his legacy of using music to connect to all people."

The screening, which will take place Jan. 3, is organized by the Folsom Prison Fellowship, which ministers to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families.

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