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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 45,398 users   Metascore: 79/100
Reviews: 155 user | 257 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

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 39 wins & 29 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 (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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:

$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
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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 »


Rodriguez: Thanks for keeping me alive!
See more »


Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »


Jane S. Piddy
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

One of the most bizarre true stories in the history of popular music
6 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Who would know that an unknown album from an unknown artist in 1970 (Rodriguez) would become a huge phenomenon in South Africa? As big as say, Paul McCartney. Rodriguez himself was never aware of his huge success, as well as most other Americans. This film traces two hardcore fans as they trace clues around the globe trying to find out what happened to this man. Did he commit a gruesome suicide as rumors say? If so, when and where? Almost nothing was known of this mystery man. The film unfolds a story that cannot be believed by any party. Not the South Africans, nor the filmmakers, or any member of the Rodriquez family. A story that you would swear would not be possible in this day and age of digital communications.

70 of 75 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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