Searching for Sugar Man


On an episode of the Film Vault podcast a few weeks (months?) ago, Bryan Bishop was raving about Searching for Sugar Man – a documentary about a mysterious musician from the 1970s.

Rodriguez was a Hispanic musician from an unknown location who released two albums that were commercial flops in the early 70s. After minimal success, he was dropped from his label and seemed to vanish into obscurity. He was semi-famous for lighting himself on fire and committing suicide on stage. Or was it pulling out a gun and shooting himself while on stage?

Trying to figure out the story of Rodriguez, a few fans from South Africa started a website to try to find more information about the mysterious man they call Rodriguez. In 1998, the daughter of Rodriguez contacted some of the people that had been searching for him. Their family had utterly no idea that Rodriguez was a huge musical star in South Africa (one person interviewed said he was bigger than Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones).

That’s all the further I’m going to go with the plot simply because I don’t want to spoil anything else for you. If you are a fan of music and/or documentaries, though, I have a hard time believing you won’t find this 86 minute movie well worth your time. The soundtrack – featuring the music from Rodriguez’s two albums from 1970 and 1971 – is really, really good. I was constantly surprised at how good the cinematography looked. Hard for me not to recommend this one…


out of 10

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01 2013

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