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Searching for Sugar Man

Searching for Sugar Man

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Searching for Sugar Man, In the early 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career with only two well received but non-selling albums. Unknown to Rodriguez, his musical story continued in South Africa where he became a pop music icon and inspiration for generations. Long rumored there to be dead by suicide, a few fans in the 1990s decided to seek out the truth of their hero’s fate. What follows is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found far more in their quest than they ever hoped, while a Detroit construction laborer discovered that his lost artistic dreams came true after all.

One of the best music docs ever made

Musical footnote with a couple of great insights


In the early 70s, Sixto Rodriguez became the biggest singer in the isolated conservative 5South Africa. There was very little known about him and was believed to have committed suicide on stage. His music became anthems against apartheid. Starting in 1968, Rodriguez recorded his music in Detroit. His music is reminiscent of Dylan but never caught on. His story continues to be a mystery until fans from South Africa start searching for his true story. In 1998, he walks onto a South African stage rising from the dead.

Rodriguez is a small footnote in music history. A biography of him is not necessarily the most compelling except for this fascinating quirk of history. It allows for a great insight into 70s South African society that has never been explained in any movie. The interview with Clarence Avant is brilliant. The man turns from a friendly grandfather figure into a defensive crook in a blink of an eye. The family’s emotional journey is beyond belief. It’s a crazy true story.

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