Searching for the Sugar Man

2012 musical documentary

Rating: 16/20

Plot: Detroit folk rocker Sixto Rodriguez--not really the titular "sugar man" since he sings a song about the guy in third person--released two albums that not enough people liked. Stories about the singer setting himself on fire during a performance or shooting himself in front of an audience were spread as the musician became, unknown to him, a top-selling artist in South Africa. Years after his career had ended, people search for any information and discover the truth about the guy.

This guy's story and general attitude about his story brought a tear to my eye. If you've seen this, you know the big moment this all builds up to, and that big moment is nothing short of magical, the type of story that nobody would try to sit down and write as fiction because it wouldn't be all that believable. Rodriguez made music that deserved to be heard more, and you can appreciate this documentary for doing its part in making the guy a household name. Personally, I like the music. It's Dylanesque. I like what this guy's story says about the connection that groups of people can have with art that nobody else is paying any attention to. Here, this guy's pair of albums made an unlikely trip to South Africa. The story's an intriguing one, unfolding like a mystery. I don't think I needed staged shots of Rodriguez opening a window or walking down a street in the snow, but after so much build-up in the first half of the film with interviews about how wonderful this guy was or is, I guess it was nice to see the guy doing anything.

1 comment:

cory said...

I loved when he got to play in South Africa. It was so touching to see him achieve his dream long after he had lost it. Also a 16 for the same reasons you gave.