Searching for Sugar Man
Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Every now and then a movie comes around and is so good, so inspiring, and so unusual that you can’t get enough of the tingling magical feeling it leaves you with. This is my top-rated DVD selection of the year thus far. But this rag to riches tale is a true story that has garnered over 30 top honors and breezed away with the 2013 Oscar for best documentary at the 85th Academy Awards.
Truth is stranger than fiction, and so it is with the story of Sixto Rodriguez aka “Sugar Man.” A 70’s Detroit- based singer songwriter of Mexican-American descent strumming his guitar in bars and clubs with his back turned to his audience. Releasing two albums to marginal success, he was dropped from the record label and up and vanished. Or, as he wrote in his song I’ll slip away—“Maybe today, yeah. I’ll slip away.” And he did- amidst rumors that he had set himself on fire at his last show, or was serving time in prison for murdering his wife. Did Rodriquez vanish or set himself on fire?
Decades later, two ardent fans set out on a quest to find the truth of the 70’s rock Dylan-esque icon who never was. Looking for clues in Sixto’s song lyrics and with the help of the Internet, the answers years later will astound even the cynical, as our two fans track down those who knew of him. I cannot say anymore, but it is simply astonishing, and the music stays with you.
When you watch this inspiring story on DVD, be sure to find the extra time for all the special features, you’ll be glad you did. Later, you’ll want to listen to the soundtrack and we have you covered.