I saw the best film I’ve seen in such a long time today and definitely the best documentary I have ever seen. That being said though, I have to admit that I’m biased towards the film because an ex-neighbor developed it and he and one of his friends were part of the baseline of the story. The documentary is called Searching for Sugarman and focuses on the search of 1970s rockstar, Sixto Rodriguez.
Although Rodriguez released two albums in America he was only popular in South Africa. During the time that protests against apartheid were raging in South Africa, Rodgrieuz’s music became the anthem for the protest. His music constantly reminded people that it was okay for them to rebel against their society. However, Rodriguez was unaware that his music had such a big impact and he was dropped by his record company in America. As the film’s website explains, “he fell so far off the music industry’s radar that when it was rumored he had committed suicide, there was no conclusive report of exactly how and why. Of all the stories that circulated about his death, the most sensational – and the most widely accepted – was that Rodriguez had set himself ablaze on stage 4 having delivered these final lyrics: ‘But thanks for your time, then you can thank me for mine and after that’s said, forget it’.”
Craig Bartholomew-Strydom, who lived down the street from where I’m living now, and his friend, nicknamed “Sugar,” began a search that lead them through numerous cities all over the world. They finally found Rodriguez living in Detroit and interviewed him.
When I first went to see the film, I wasn’t sure what I was expecting. It was incredible seeing how Rodriguez had coped over the years with what he had seemily thought was a failed career. So many people, including me, left the theater with tears in their eyes. If you have the chance to see the film, please do. Rodriguez’s talent and personality are unbelievable.
I know I’m babbling like crazy but I haven’t seen a film in a long time that made me feel like I had to recommend it. I met Craig’s wife (Phillipa- who is an amazing soap opera actress in South Africa) and his daughter (Bella) about a year ago and finally seeing the finished result of Craig’s project was so moving. The documentary was shown at the Sundance Film Festival where received it received great reviews and I’m positive it’ll receive many more.>