Saturday, 1 February 2014

Searching for Sugar Man - Phil's Five Words for Films

Searching for Sugar Man I love good films and I love good music. So it will come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed a good documentary about a good music story. In the late 1960's, a singer-songwriter known as Rodriguez was discovered in a Detroit nightclub, creating music that many thought would make him a superstar. A Latino Dylan. After recording 2 albums with leading music producers, the sales didn't match the enthusiasm and soon, rumours of his on-stage death began to spread. Meanwhile, in South Africa, the albums began the 1970's by selling in their millions and slowly fixed themselves in to the national psyche and a move towards political freedom. News of the success just didn't
manage to make it back to those closest to Rodriguez. Then, in the 1990's, a small group of fans began the search to find the truth behind the legend. At 85mins, the documentary is a quick and nimble exercise in storytelling and the story is one of pathos and redemption. There is definitely some areas of the story that are not fully explored ( who made all the money disappear? ) but overall, the documentary is snappy, smooth and fulfilling. Although the story itself is a little over-sensationalised, it is still a great tale, told well. Anyone who loves a good story or good music should be enthralled.

8 out of 10.
Cert 12A (uk)
2012. 85mins.


  1. Good review Phil. This documentary was working so well for the longest time, and then it pissed me off during the final half-hour when I realized that these guys were sort of lying to us the whole time. They manipulated time in a way that made it seem like we were on this adventure along with them, only to have us figure out that they've known about who he is and where he was this whole entire time. So for the joke being on us, I was pissed, although I appreciated what they did in telling us who this guy was, his story, his significance, and why exactly it is that he matters.

  2. Cheers for the fantastic comments Dan. Yeah, I agree that there was some manipulation of the story but, for me the sadness lay in the fact that such a musical talent was somehow passed over. It was a story I had no idea about and I enjoyed the trip, even if it was a little over-sensationalised. I have even bought the OST. Thanks for stopping by. All the best, P.