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 (email@example.com)
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 »
During the credits there is a spelling error - It says "Mabu Vinly" instead of "Mabu Vinyl" See more »
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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This film was by far our favorite at the True/False Film Festival in Columbia Missouri this past spring.
The delights of "Searching for Sugar Man" are revealed along the way, as the story unspools over decades and continents. I BEG YOU to cover your eyes and ears if you happen to see a trailer at your local indie theater - the art of the trailer is apparently a lost one, and most of the surprises are spoiled in the promotion prepared for this film.
The director received a well-earned standing ovation at True/False, and wept - he and other directors said that T/F was the first audience of "real people" to see their respective films, apparently Sundance is peopled with "not real people"?
And be prepared to have the music playing in your head for some time to come.
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