Dir: Malik Bendjelloul
Featuring: Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman, Craig Bartholomew Strydom, Sixto Rodriguez
The Film: The review for Searching For Sugar Man below is a combination of two mini reviews, one from SuperMarcey.com’s Marcey Papandrea and one from CineSlice.com’s A.J. Hakari as part of their ‘His And Hers’ review series.
Searching For Sugar Man is an extraordinary and emotional ride, one I had no idea I would be in for and I am so thankful I took it. It isn’t too often where I am moved to tears by a documentary, and this one certainly did the trick. This story is an incredible one, so many ups and downs and an intriguing mystery mixed in there. The film recently took home the Oscar for Best Documentary, and in my opinion it is deserving of all of its accolades. Stories like this dont come along very often, and with the passion and great talent of director Malik Bendjelloul this film succeeds on every level.
The story here is about a musician from the early 70’s simply known as Rodriguez, he was hailed as the next Bob Dylan and despite his albums getting great reviews no one really bought them. However bootleg copies made their way to South Africa and he became the voice of the voiceless there. Rodriguez disappeared and rumours of what happened to him circulated, and his fans in South Africa vowed to find out the truth about him and what happened.
This is such an engaging film, I was wrapped up in the Rodriguez mystery right away. I knew nothing about him and listening to his music through the film helped me form a real connection like I am sure the people of South Africa did. Hearing the stories about the enigma of Rodriguez is really something special, and the third act is an amazing ride that filled me with immense joy. This really is an incredible film, I listen to the soundtrack every day and Rodriguez with his music has helped me emotionally. GO SEE THIS FILM!
“Searching for Sugar Man” is the “Behind the Music” story most people would probably rather hear. Most musicians who don’t consistently work and keep themselves in the public eye usually sink fast into obscurity, ending up either as “Family Guy” references or something tragically worse. But “Searching for Sugar Man,” a documentary about the mystique of a near-unknown ’70s singer named Rodriguez, gives hope to those who’ve wished that their favorite one-hit wonders didn’t all meet highball-addled fates.
The film gives us the basics behind Rodriguez’ brief career (a couple albums, low sales, dropped off the map), but the real meat comes when focus shifts to the hunt for what happened to him. Though I won’t spoil what happens, I will say that Rodriguez redefines the term “cult hit,” generating a following and representing a cultural revolution, both to which he was completely oblivious. I’ve heard some criticize “Searching for Sugar Man” for needlessly deifying one guy whose music (which, by the way, is *that* damn good) people barely heard of, but I think the love is displayed and justified quite well. Not all feel-good movies are soulless and manipulative, and the affectionately-crafted “Searching for Sugar Man” is a prime example.
The Australian DVD
Audio/Video: The video is presented in 16:9 widescreen with 1080p HD. Audio is presented withDTS HD Master Audio 5.1.
This an extraordinary blu-ray, the picture quality is truly outstanding and the audio really brings across everything that Rodriguez has to offer. This is just stunning to look at and to listen to, an amazing job was done for this transfer. The picture is so clear and very vibrant, and each note on the songs just hits the right spot.
* Making of Searching For Sugar Man
* Rodriguez Live
* Theatrical Trailer
The Making Of feature runs of around 30 minutes and it really is a wonderful addition to the film. It adds some extra information on how the film came about, and it is wonderful to hear from the director Malik Bendjelloul as well. Definitely a must-see, and watch it right after the film.
Rodriguez live is great, anything of this man is incredible.
Thanks to Ben from MadMan for his support.