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Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

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


Won 1 Oscar. Another 39 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Coffey ...
Himself - Co-Producer, Cold Fact 1970
Mike Theodore ...
Dan DiMaggio ...
Himself - Bartender, The Brewery
Jerome Ferretti ...
Himself - Bricklayer
Himself - Producer, Coming from Reality 1971
Willem Möller ...
Himself - Musician
Craig Bartholomew Strydom ...
Himself - Music Journalist (as Craig Bartholomew-Strydom)
Ilse Assmann ...
Herself - Former Apartheid Archivist
Steve M. Harris ...
Himself - Teal Trutone
Robbie Mann ...
Himself - RPM Records
Himself - Former Chairman of Motown Records
Eva Rodriguez ...
Herself - Rodriguez's Eldest Daughter
Himself (as Sixto Rodriguez)
Herself - Rodriguez's Youngest Daughter


In the early 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career with only two well received but non-selling albums. Unknown to Rodriguez, his musical story continued in South Africa where he became a pop music icon and inspiration for generations. Long rumored there to be dead by suicide, a few fans in the 1990s decided to seek out the truth of their hero's fate. What follows is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found far more in their quest than they ever hoped, while a Detroit construction laborer discovered that his lost artistic dreams came true after all. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some drug references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

26 July 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sugar Man  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,459, 29 July 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Malik Bendjelloul traced all the illustrations on oven paper as a mock up for the 3D animations he never could afford to have made. Thus the oven paper illustrations made it to the final cut. See more »


During the credits there is a spelling error - It says "Mabu Vinly" instead of "Mabu Vinyl" See more »


Rick Emmerson: What he's demonstrated, very clearly, is that you have a choice. He took all that torment, all that agony, all that confusion and pain, and he transformed it into something beautiful. He's like the silkworm, you know? You take this raw material, and you transform it. You come out with something that wasn't there before. Something beautiful. Something perhaps transcendent. Something perhaps eternal. Insofar as he does that, I think he's representative of the human spirit, of what's possible. ...
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Inner City Blues
Written by Rodriguez (as Sixto Rodriguez)
Courtesy of Hey Day Entertainment, LLC by arrangement
with Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, LLC
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User Reviews

one of the best music docs ever made
26 July 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is one of the best music docs ever made! The story about Sixto Rodriguez misfortunes and fortunes is almost to good to be true. It's like a fairy tale, only that this is real life. Swedish film maker Malik Bendjelloul treats the story with great respect and construct the film in a way almost like a thriller without a dead second and the end will not leave a single eye dry. Cinematographer Camilla Skagerstrom made an excellent job in creating a beautiful movie and the music (all by Rodriguez)makes a great soundtrack and it is hard to believe that this musical treasure was forgotten for so many years. Not only is this a strong personal portrait of a grate musician but it also makes you wonder about the mechanics of fame, success and the music industry.

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