Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 24 August 2012 00:00

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


Brian Owens

Mon September 29
Brian Owens is a american soul singer and songwriter from St. Louis. His new album Preach combines soulfull grooves, with soul touching Lyrics.. Preach is a well produced album that while speaking to the…

Search Parties

Tue September 9

KDHX Recommends

October
Saturday
04

Old Salt Union at Harvest Sessions 2014

Old Salt Union at Harvest Sessions 2014 Young, rabble-rousing old-time stringband Old Salt Union takes the stage at the park for this week's Harvest Sessions performance. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


October
Thursday
09

Discovery Series: Johnny Long

KDHX presents Johnny Long as part of the Discovery Series. Series passports can be bought online. shop.kdhx.org/products/discovery-series-passport   John Long was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950 and was first...


October
Saturday
11

Wack-A-Doo at Harvest Sessions 2014

Wack-A-Doo at Harvest Sessions 2014 KDHX and Harvest Sessions welcomes veteran old-time jazz and gypsy swing group Wack-A-Doo to the park for this week's event. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market, and...


Get Answers!

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

Online Users

4 users and 12200 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook