Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sugar Man

An absolute favourite of mine has to be 70s folk-rock Detroit musician Rodriguez, who released two spectacular (critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful albums) Cold Fact and Coming From Reality – before slipping into obscurity - ie. regular life.

Briefly hailed as a successor to Dylan, false rumours of an untimely death abounded as he all but disappeared in the West.  In Apartheid-era South Africa, however, and completely unbeknown to him,  Rodriguez’s soulful style spread across the land, eventually selling more records than Elvis.

30 years later two fans went on a pilgrimage to uncover the real story of this mystery man.  Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul captures their journey in a film that has already won World Cinema Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize at its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this year and is due to hit our shores for MIFF in a matter of weeks.  I cannot wait.

His fascinating story can also be heard in his own words -
"I hide my despondency well" 
- in this fascinating interview with the man himself here

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