Bill C’s Review – 4 out of 5
‘Searching for Sugar Man’ played at this year’s SXSW. I had heard a lot of good things about this documentary about early 70s musician Sixto Rodriguez but wasn’t able to make it to the screening. I was looking forward to it’s opening in Austin this week and was listening to my ipod in shuffle mode when ‘Sugar Man’ (listen here) by Rodriguez started playing. This increased my anticipation for the movie as I had no idea that I knew or had any of his music.
This movie did not disappoint. Sixto Rodriguez, from Detroit, had two albums released in the early 70’s. They were total flops in the U.S but somehow, unbeknownst to Rodriguez, became incredibly influential and successful (despite some of the protest songs being banned from the radio) in South Africa during apartheid. Rodriguez was dropped by his record company and while his popularity continued in South Africa there were numerous rumors about his fate. Two South African fans looking successfully search for Rodriguez. While Rodriguez in many ways remains an enigma the story of what he did with his life both before and after he was found is fascinating especially considering what his life could have been if he had been successful in the U.S. The music is good and it’s interesting to see the power that music can have (in this case in South Africa).
This is definitely worth seeing and I am now looking forward to Rodriguez coming to Antone’s in Austin this October.