directed by Malik Bendjelloul
Being a native Detroiter, I am aware of both the legend and the reality of musical legend Sixto Rodriguez, but the most magical and outrageous aspect of the story of Sugar Man is that the reality is as spectacularly surreal as the legend itself. Malik Bendjelloul’s amazing doc tells the story of a mysterious Detroit songster by the name of Rodriguez, a genius who disappeared after only two albums. According to legend, he killed himself onstage, and though he faded to obscurity in the States, his music was essential to the youth railing against Apartheid in South Africa. It wasn’t until a few intrepid music lovers decided to do some digging that the truth about Sixto Rodriguez was brought to wonderful, inspiring life. Searching for Sugar Man is inspiring the way American Movie is inspiring, a testament to passion and unfailing optimism that resides within such artists as Rodriguez. Though at times it’s a little heavy on the sweet, Searching for Sugar Man is like candy for the soul.