Searching for Sugar Man: Rodriguez dies at 81

Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 documentary film about a South African cultural phenomenon

Searching for Sugar Man Written and directed by Malik Bendjelloul. It details the efforts in the late 1990s of two Cape Town fans, Stephen “Sugar” Segerman and Craig Bartholomew Strydom, to find out whether the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Rodriguez’s music, which had never achieved success in the United States, had become very popular in South Africa, although little was known about him in that country.

Searching for Sugar Man begins with Segerman and Strydom recounting how they first became fans of Rodriguez’s music in the early 1970s. They were drawn to his raw, poetic lyrics and his unique blend of folk, rock, and soul music. However, when they tried to find out more about him, they discovered that he had apparently disappeared from the music scene after releasing two albums in the United States.

Segerman and Strydom eventually tracked down Rodriguez to a small town in Detroit, where he was living a quiet life as a construction worker. He had no idea that his music was popular in South Africa, and he was initially hesitant to give interviews. However, he eventually agreed to let Segerman and Strydom document his story.

The film follows Rodriguez as he returns to South Africa for the first time in 30 years. He is greeted as a hero by his fans, who have long believed him to be dead. He gives a series of sold-out concerts, and he is even invited to perform at the prestigious Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

Searching for Sugar Man is a fascinating and heartwarming story about the power of music. It is a reminder that even when an artist’s career seems to be over, their music can continue to inspire and touch people’s lives. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2013. It also won numerous other awards, including the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary, the Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Documentary Feature, and the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Documentary Motion Picture.

If you are a fan of music documentaries, then I highly recommend Searching for Sugar Man. It is a truly inspiring story about an artist who never gave up on his dream.

Watch the below video about how the crowd gets crazy about Rodriguez’s performance

Image credit

Paulisdead at the English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons