8.2/10
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209 user 262 critic

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

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2:01 | Trailer
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 ... 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

Taglines:

He was a star in the making, who vanished without a trace. But on the other side of the world, he inspired a generation.


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:

Searching for 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

Gross USA:

$3,696,196

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$9,133,597
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. ...
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Black Godfather (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

A Most Disgusting Song
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 best music docs ever made

This is one of the best music docs ever made! The story about Sixto Rodriguez misfortunes and fortunes is almost to good to be true. It's like a fairy tale, only that this is real life. Swedish film maker Malik Bendjelloul treats the story with great respect and construct the film in a way almost like a thriller without a dead second and the end will not leave a single eye dry. Cinematographer Camilla Skagerstrom made an excellent job in creating a beautiful movie and the music (all by Rodriguez)makes a great soundtrack and it is hard to believe that this musical treasure was forgotten for so many years. Not only is this a strong personal portrait of a grate musician but it also makes you wonder about the mechanics of fame, success and the music industry.


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