Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 23 August 2012 23:00

There’s an amazing adventure 'Searching for Sugar Man'

sonyclassics.com sonyclassics.com
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Malik Bendjelloul
  • Dates: Opens August 24, 2012

Some stories are so amazing that, were they not verified, they’d be dismissed as a hoax. That’s the case with 1970s Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez as revealed in writer/director Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary Searching for Sugar Man. The investigation of the tantalizing mystery of who Rodriguez is and was begins in Cape Town, South Africa.

That unexpected geographical location for the start of the search comes from Rodriguez’s overwhelming popularity there. Activists against South Africa’s brutally oppressive apartheid found their message for racial equality channeled in Rodriguez’s antiestablishment songs. Selling over a half million albums, Rodriguez became more popular than Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, the Beatles. By contrast, Rodriguez’s two albums—“Cold Fact” (1970) and “Coming from Reality” (1971)—released in the U.S. disappointed commercially, leaving his third album unfinished. And then rumors circulated that this shy man who might play with his back to the audience committed suicide on stage, various versions given—gunshot, self-immolation.

In the late 90s, wanting to know more, two South Africans, at first unknown to each other, sought the elusive and astonishing truth. Journalist Craig Bartholomew and Stephen “Sugar” Segerman’s quest resulted in Searching for Sugar Man. It includes a revealing, contentious interview with Clarence Avant, head of Motown and Sussex records during Rodriguez’s days. Also featured, famed producers Dennis Coffey and Mike Theodore plus those who worked with Rodriguez praise his unique talent and character.

Throughout the film, Swedish documentarian Bendjelloul intercuts contemporary interviews with wonderful animation, sketches, blurry performance snippets, and shots of Detroit’s deserted streets and dilapidated houses suffused often in the red glow of a sunset or artificial illumination used for atmospheric effect. Best of all, Bendjelloul peppers this intriguing story with Rodriguez’s songs. His crystal clear voice and heartfelt, honest sentiments transported me. I can’t reveal any more, except to say that Searching for Sugar Man is an inspirational and remarkable film. At Landmark’s Tivoli Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Jah Orah and KD Assassin

Wed November 19

Durango

Sun October 26
Durango is a two-man band with a progressive, heavy rock sound. The band's latest album, "Technologigical Advances," is a concept album that is meant to be heard as a whole unit. To download a track from…

KDHX Recommends

December
Friday
05

Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn

An internationally known musician, composer and innovator, Roscoe Mitchell began his distinguished career in the spirited 1960s of Chicago. NYC pianist and ECM recording artist, Craig Taborn, has remained a ubiquitous presence on the...


December
Thursday
11

KDHX Discovery Series: History of Psychedelia

The KDHX Discovery Series presents the "History of Psychedelia," with DJ valis. KDHX DJ, valis will take you on a multimedia journey through the annals of psychedelic musical history. The evening will feature a...


December
Sunday
14

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holid...

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holid... 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Celia's Yuletide Express Secular Holiday Sing-along Sunday, December 14 at Noon. Tickets available online.  Toys, clothes, food and other gifts will be collected at the door for...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

1 user and 10929 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook