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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 44,631 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?


Some parts of the documentary were shot on an iPhone App called 8mm Vintage Camera after the producers ran out of film for an expensive real 8mm camera. The app cost only £1.49/$1.99. Director Malik Bendjelloul was cash strapped from making the documentary before his suicide. 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 »


Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.71 (2013) See more »


I'll Slip Away
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

West LA Loves Sixto Rodriguez
5 August 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Landmark Theatre in West LA is a tough crowd but they were laughing and crying and when it was over they were applauding. This is what movie magic is all about. I wandered in and was blown away. Where can I get the soundtrack?? Holy! Crap!!

Sixto is what Dylan could have been. That's right he's better than Bob. Better writer, better vocalist by tenfold. Unlike The Jester this guy never sold out and walked the talk until the bitter end.

I've always believed the world's best talent goes unrecognized most of the time but the story of Sixto Rodriguez puts that theory into the "true" category once and for all and I will never doubt it again. Please recognize this man's work! Hopefully his daughters will continue to work toward that end both in the USA and South Africa.

93 of 99 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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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