Movie Review – Searching for Sugar Man

SugarMan_posterA man records an album that gets little to no airplay in the US. By a random set of circumstances he becomes a cultural icon in South Africa even though he’s never set foot in the country. His songs and who he is grows into legend. Searching for Sugar Man which won the Academy Award for Best Documentary feature this year is told mostly via South African historians.

Sixto Rodriguez

Sixto Rodriguez is a musician who released an album in the 1970’s. His music had lots of uprising lyrics and the songs resonated with young members of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa. The film focuses on the 1990s journey of the historians to figure out what happened to him. Little was known about him personally in South Africa so their were stories that he had died which became larger than life that he died on stage. In the quest to locate him he is found alive and well abet poor as he barely made any money from the recordings living in Detroit, Michigan.


Searching for Sugar Man plays several of Rodriguez music throughout the film. It also includes interviews with 2 of his daughters who seem to have different views on how he has lived since he’s toured, plus the money he lost from the original recordings. This is still an interesting film to watch. Its different and I like that about it. I was surprised it won the Oscar, Yes its a good film but there was some stiff competition in that category.

Director: Malik Bendjelloul
Run time: 86 minutes
DVD release date: January 22, 2013