Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

The true, transfixing story of a musician who lived his life without knowing he was famous

The Very Best

9.5

Movie

Finland, South Africa
English
Documentary, Music
2012
MALIK BENDJELLOUL
Clarence Avant, Craig Bartholomew Strydom, Dan DiMaggio
85 min

What it's about

Two South Africans set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero, the mysterious 1970s rock 'n' roller, Rodriguez.

The take

American folk singer Sixto Diaz Rodriguez recorded two albums in Detroit in the 1970s, which he played live across the city, but never to critical acclaim or commercial success. Disappointed, he soon quit his musical career, bought a run-down house in the Motor City, and lived a simple life working in construction. So far, this sounds like the biography of many musicians that never quite made it, talented or otherwise.

However, a strange thing happened. By the mid-1970s, his albums were getting significant airplay in countries like Australia, Zimbabwe, and Apartheid-era South Africa, where he was soon considered a musical voice on par with the Beatles. While living a reclusive life in Detroit, Michigan, he unwittingly became a star on the other side of the globe. This engaged and visually appealing documentary by the late Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul tells his story and spells out a fascinating footnote of global music history.

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Comments

A story so wonderful and well made. You won’t be disappointed

A life story that crazy, a writer could never have written it. An absolute must-see. Avoid the spoilers!

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