If you’ve never heard of Mexican-American singer-songwriter Rodriguez, good, it will make this film even more enjoyable for you and afterwards you will not be able to get the sounds of Rodriguez out of your mind.
However if you do know about this brilliant artist then you will love this close up look at his life and career with its ‘stranger than fiction’ tales..
In poverty ridden 60′s – 70′s Detroit Sixto Rodriguez recorded two albums which both flopped in the US. Nevertheless a visit from an American tourist to Cape Town, South Africa, with a record under her arm as a gift for her boyfriend, resulted in him becoming bigger than Elvis.
Expressing a working class disenchantment that hit the spot with young Afrikaans, his songs quickly became anthems for a whole generation. In a time of apartheid and oppression these young South Africans found in Rodriguez their voice in the album Cold Fact.
The album Cold Fact 1970
He became a mysterious hero who appeared to have slipped away in to obscurity, death or suicide He becomes a legend so when two South African fans, Musicologist detective Craig Bartholemew and record shop owner Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman, decide to find out what really happened their discoveries are more unbelievable than the myths ever were.
This documentary features Rodriguez’s music which is magically mixed with photographs of the man himself. The interviews within the film from fans, friends, colleagues and music producers are great at creating the legend for those who aren’t in the know and they bring many laughs along the way too.
So if you want to find out the truth about this phenomenal artist or want to discover a fascinating modern tale then this film will not disappoint.
Searching for Sugar Man is a truly beautiful film made with love and affection for a man who held such immense talent. It shows the power and influence a musician can give those in need of a hero. The determination of those involved in this story is also astonishing making this a highly emotive piece.
I can’t fault this film or the magical story and music that it introduced me to.
Showing at Rialto Cinemas from 11 October 2012
Director: Malik Bendjelloul