Searching For Sugar Man – Review
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.
I first heard of this movie when a colleague of mine raved about a documentary he had watched overnight, at first i was hesitant. 70′s singer bigger then Elvis in South Africa with a documentary going through the history of his life, all I could picture was old hippies talking about acid trips and sticking it to the man. Luckily he didn’t give too much away about the plot which is why I enjoyed watching the movie so damn much.
The music was amazing, Granted Ive never heard of Sixto Rodriguez, the movie opens with the song titled “Sugar Man” and damn this song is catchy, by the end of the movie the melody was burnt into my mind and I still have it on repeat in my mental play list.
As the movie progress’s the music of Rodriguez slowly tells the tale of what sort of a man we are exploring, in some instances penetrating every fiber of emotion that comes alongside the piercing lyrics of each song.
Visually the movie starts off strong but is fairly lacking towards the end not to discredit the film itself, i think its purely circumstantial, as a lot of archival footage is played which of course is not to the standard of 1080p. Old Detroit has been adapted well with some beautiful side scrolling shots bringing you a greater understanding of Rodriguez’s emotions particularly around his journey and self discovery.
The story line is compelling, of course its a documentary and most of the recounts are factual, however they are all perspective based and involve a lot of emotion which is really what makes the film great. You don’t hear boring facts or a bunch of dates, its a great story told from multiple points of view and each point of view is relevant hardly overlapping with another. Documentary makers, take notes.
Overall I’d say this movie will be up there with must watch documentaries in 2013 highly recommend the film to anyone remotely interested in musical acts such as Bob Dylan or any other social intricacies related to the 70′s.
Subject Matter: 8/10
Overall Rating: 7.8/10