If this review has reached you too late and your local cinema is no longer showing Searching For Sugar Man (SFSM) , make a note of it’s title and keep an eye out for the network premiere, I’m sure BBC4 will be on the case in no time…
The documentary tells the story of Rodriguez, a late 60s/early 70s singer-songwriter who, like so many, recorded some spellbinding music but never managed to shift the necessary units to reward the attention he deserved. Told through the eyes of a South African super-fan, SFSM is the heart-warming tale of music’s transatlantic journey and the power of a curious mind that followed.
Rodriguez was first discovered in a smokey Detroit bar by a well connected Motown producer and within weeks the shy troubadours first album Cold Fact was surrounded by critical acclaim and genuine industry buzz. (N.B. This is a great album for fans of the singer/songwriter genre – equal parts Dion, Donovan and of course Dylan).
The album didn’t sell, at all. His second and final album also bombed, however Cold Fact found it’s way to South Africa, where it instantly became the must-have LP and a soundtrack the troubled protests that rallied against Apartheid. Over the next 20 years the album took on a life of it’s own, selling in huge numbers in SA making Rodriguez an instant folk-hero and “more popular than Elvis”
By 1973, word had spread that Rodriguez had committed suicide by setting himself on fire whilst on stage. It’s not as bleak as it sounds, this is a life affirming story that any music fan needs to see. Like 2008’s Anvil before it, this story stands on it’s own merits as a great film, pulling the audience in from the opening credits whether you dig the soundtrack or not.
In a world where our most popular singers are fame-hungry but talent-lite SFSM goes some way in readdressing the imbalance that continues to smother the modern age.
Full Trailer link here.
Originally posted 2012-08-15 13:35:39. Republished by Blog Post Promoter