8.2/10
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198 user 258 critic

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

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2:01 | Trailer

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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 39 wins & 30 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

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 »

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

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #8.29 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Sit Dit Af
Written by Johannes Kerkorrel
Performed by The Gereformeerde Blues Band
Published by Shifty Music (ZA)
Sound Recording courtesy of Shifty Records
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User Reviews

 
One Of the Best Films Of the Year
19 August 2012 | by georgep53See all my reviews

I'm going to add my voice such as it is to the chorus of accolades for "Searching For Sugar Man". I loved it. It is indeed an incredible true story about a folk singer named Rodriquez who became a sensation in South Africa while remaining in obscurity in his native US. He's not the first person to be given the boot in his hometown (the Bible has something to say on this subject) but upon listening to the wonderful soundtrack of this film it is a sad commentary. There's plenty of humor here as well in this tale of parallel universes: one in which Rodriquez is Elvis and another where he's scarcely a blip on the radar. The film begins as an investigation by curious fans seeking to learn about the whereabouts of Rodriquez and what may have happened to him. The stories circulating about him are not promising but they are undaunted and continue to search for answers. I think everyone who sees "Searching For Sugar Man" will be thankful that they did.


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