Searching for Sugar Man
Yes, it’s still early, but “Searching for Sugar Man” seems to be the film destine to win the Oscar for Best Documentary.
A great movie needs a great story, and it is difficult to find a more compelling story than the one revealed in this film. We hear the haunting, music of Jesus Rodrieguz, and interviews of people in the record business that were, to this day, baffled why his music never sold. His one-time agent, the head of a record label, people that worked with, and played a role in presenting some of the biggest names of the 60s, 70s and 80s music scene each spoke of his talent and listed him as one of the best they ever heard. But the music business is a business; so when not the first or second album sold; the record company dropped him and he fell into total obscurity.
A world away in South Africa, in the heart of Apartide, the name Rodrieguz was a legend. He had become an icon to a generation of young Africans, a voice singing songs that spoke to their desire to over though the injustice and oppression of Apartide. But he was a mystery. The people knew he was a singer from USA, that they were told either shot, or set himself on fire on stage.
It would be difficult to find a tale that better proves the saying “Truth is stranger than fiction.
“true story of a singer-songwriter from Detroit who was once certain to become a superstar—only to end up out on the street before his career ever began, recording contract voided, never to be heard from again. Years later, in the 1970s, a bootleg of one of his albums wound up at a radio station in South Africa. There, it spread like wildfire among the anti-apartheid youth. And thus this man’s music, never having been really played in his own country (the USA), was suddenly, in South Africa, as famous as The Beatles! Be ready to be uplifted by this very Michigan story about a man long forgotten whose musical legacy will live on forever, and experience the magic of great cinema right here in Traverse City.
In Person: Director Malik Bendjelloul.
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