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Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

PG-13  |   |  Documentary, Biography, Music  |  26 July 2012 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 44,630 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 134 user | 254 critic | 32 from

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


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Won 1 Oscar. Another 42 wins & 26 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen 'Sugar' Segerman ...
Himself - Record Shop Owner
Dennis Coffey ...
Himself - Co-Producer, Cold Fact 1970
Mike Theodore ...
Himself - Co-Producer, Cold Fact 1970
Dan DiMaggio ...
Himself - Bartender, The Brewery
Jerome Ferretti ...
Himself - Bricklayer
Steve Rowland ...
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)
Regan 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 (

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:




| |


Release Date:

26 July 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sugar Man  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$27,459 (USA) (27 July 2012)


$3,695,904 (USA) (16 August 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First and only film directed by Malik Bendjelloul. 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. ...
See more »


Featured in 60 Minutes: Huawei/Sticker Shock/Rodriguez (2012) See more »


Written by Rodriguez (as Sixto Rodriguez)
Courtesy of Hey Day Entertainment, LLC by arrangement
with Light in the Attic Records & Distribution, LLC
See more »

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User Reviews

Long lost gem. Lovely movie and a must for fans of Dylan-esque music
21 July 2012 | by (New York, United States) – See all my reviews

I caught this movie at an advanced screening at the UN during Mandela week and I must say I was pleasantly surprised by the movie and even more enthralled to discover this long, lost gem of music. The movie revolves around an up-and-coming Rock'n'roller from the 70s who recorded two albums and then disappeared into obscurity. His music was lost in the US but by a strange coincidence becomes a cult hit in South Africa and becomes a symbol of rebellion for the underground white, anti-apartheid sub-culture. The documentary is a lovely journey of discovery of the south africans who try to find the roots of this enigma and re-discover his music. I won't spoil too much but for fans of Dylan like music, this might be a long, lost gem and music that perhaps, at least now, deserves more recognition and appreciation.

60 of 65 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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A work of fiction? s0apbox
RIP Malik savager_
Good subject, bad documentarians? tpupkin
Am I the only one who thought.... jb2-8
No Mention Of Australia deadskinmask-2
Rodriguez's daughters are shown but no mention of his wife...?!?! Bob Pr.
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