8.2/10
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204 user 261 critic

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.

Director:

Malik Bendjelloul
Won 1 Oscar. Another 40 wins & 31 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | UK | Finland

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 July 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Sugar Man See more »

Filming Locations:

Cape Town, South Africa See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$27,459, 29 July 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,965,090

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,637,687
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A television documentary, entitled "Dead Men Don't Tour" (based on Rodriguez's tour of South Africa), is acknowledged in the film's credits. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

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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Connections

Featured in The Oscars (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
A Must-See. Truly
6 November 2012 | by CarpeDiemFilmSee all my reviews

Rodriguez (Sugarman), is one of the greatest men I have ever known.

This isn't a review, at least I don't consider it one; I don't review on IMDb, and there's a good chance I never will; but I feel compelled to leave my experience and thoughts, though briefly, here.

I saw this movie today knowing nothing about the subject material or the man himself; after leaving the theatre into a dimming sunset I texted my friend "I have a new hero."

That is probably the greatest praise I have ever gave a film.

Soulful, touching, heartrending and uplifting, this film------ you cannot write this, you cannot make this up, it is a story of true brilliance and daunting inspiration. There is so much to commend, praise, remark about this movie... but honestly I don't want to cite any one thing because it would spoil the experience of watching the story unfold and the mystery of Sugarman being shaped weakened. The bottom line is: It is a story that is too real, poignant, and far-fetched to exist anywhere on a writer's board or in a screenplay; this is why documentaries will never die, and they will always have a reserved place in the realm of cinema, films of fiction and artistry just cannot pierce the depth that this one finds. It is one of the greatest documentaries I have ever seen, possibly the greatest.

I cried throughout the picture. A must-see.

I write this review with the intention that I hope to encourage others to go see this movie: If you do you won't regret it and if you see it years later on television, you'll regret you didn't take the chance when you had it.


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