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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Sixto Rodriguez.
Directors
Malik Bendjelloul.
Screenwriters
Running Time
86 minutes

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Searching for Sugar Man
Folk music gets its Man On Wire


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Plot
Searching for Sugar Man follows two South Africans in their quest to uncover the truth behind the myth-ridden life of their folk hero, Sixto Rodriguez - a singer-songwriter who some believe could have been a rival to Dylan.


Review
Searching for Sugar Man
Some say Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez could have been as big as Dylan, yet his first album bombed on release in 1970s America and he was dropped by his label. But unbeknown to the near-penniless Detroit artist he was a sensation in South Africa, where people grooved to his folk tunes and chanted his anti-establishment lyrics. This is the quest of two South Africans to find their hero, following clues in song lyrics and launching campaigns to discover the fate of the man said to have killed himself on stage. The journey’s a blast — and the story isn’t over yet. A must for music fans.


Verdict
Music fans will love this indie documentary. Try to avoid Googling him before you watch, though.


Reviewed by Anna Smith

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Searching for Sugar Man
Empire Star Rating

RE: Searching for Sugar Man

Well, yeah, but there is a bit of sleight of hand (is that how you spell it?). Like Argo, it doesn't quite tell the whole truth, or is economical with it. It's a nice story, and the songs are nice to discover, in that way it's a massive promo for a forgotten singer. But he did sort of make it in Australia to some extent, he didn't quite drift off in to bumhood. That's why he was able to show up and do that show unphased. ... More

Posted by Professor Dent at 18:35, 08 March 2013 | Report This Post


RE: Searching for Sugar Man

I saw this last night. My local cinema is doing a week long catch-up of Oscar nominees so I went along with a rather dry intent to just "mop up" nominees I hadn't seen, but I was completely beguiled by this lovely story which has added another fixture in my pantheon of musical heroes, (exemplified to set a context by Nick Cave and Scott Walker dontcha know). Hearing Rodriguez for the first time in the first ten minutes of this film had that same effect as my penny dropping on those two entiti... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by demoncleaner at 01:04, 22 February 2013 | Report This Post


Searching for Sugar Man

Four years ago, came the release of Sacha Gervasi’s brilliant rockumentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil, which followed the long and difficult comeback of the eponymous Canadian rock band, which is essentially a real-life Spinal Tap. One can see the influence of Anvil towards Malik Bendjelloul’s wonderful debut Searching for Sugar Man, which is about an unknown musician who has the talent to rival the likes of Bob Dylan. Following the recordings of two studio albums in the early 1970’s, the A... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by R W at 18:45, 26 July 2012 | Report This Post


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