Usually people will comment on what a small world we live in. Coincidences and connections make our planet seem far smaller than we would like to believe. The documentary Searching for Sugar Man will make you feel like the opposite is true. It makes one realize that our world is so big that one side can be totally oblivious to what the other side is doing.
Sugar Man was a song recorded by the artist Rodriguez in 1970. Sixto Rodriguez lived in the Detroit area his whole life and grew up in working class surroundings. He mostly worked in automobile factories and construction sites. Most people that knew of him said he looked homeless. Rodriguez ended up recording an album in the states and it went absolutely no where. No one had ever heard of Rodriguez. Have you heard of him? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Somehow, one of his records was brought to South Africa. It was bootlegged and sold so often in Cape Town that eventually everyone had a copy. It was one of the most popular records of all time. Rodriguez was a South African legend and he never knew. He just kept working hard labor jobs and trying to scrape by.
The funny thing is, South Africans didn’t know anything about the singer/songwriter that they adored. They only had his album cover to go by. That’s all they knew about him. Nothing was written of him online, no one had heard of him since. Piecing together clues from his lyrics and using the help of mangers from record companies, two of Rodriguez’s biggest fans searched for him and found answers to all the mysteries surrounding the musician.
I begrudgingly went with my husband to the theater last night to see this documentary with him. Hearing the title, I convinced myself that I wouldn’t enjoy it and that my husband would end up owing me. To be honest, I think I liked the movie more than he did. Nah, I think we both would give it 5 stars. It’s a great film. I don’t often refer to movies as “films” but this one deserves it. I didn’t give too much of anything away in my synopsis, so I urge you to find it and give it a watch. It’s still playing in some artsy theaters, but hopefully it will be released on DVD soon.