Searching for Sugar Man
When he was signed by former Motown chief Clarence Avant in the late 1960s, Rodriquez, a Detroit-based musician, was hailed as the next Bob Dylan. The critical success of two albums in the early 1970s did not translate into big record sales, and Rodriquez faded into oblivion, but found an unexpected fan base in South Africa, where his protest songs struck a chord in a country still riven by the blight of apartheid. Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul’s documentary seeks to track down the musician through a series of interviews that hint at a life of creative turmoil that may even have ended with a suicide on stage during a performance. The film helps discover a forgotten creative talent, but also manages to build a sense of mystery, both about the musician, but also about the processes that determine what becomes famous and what drifts under the carpet of history.