Movie Review: Searching for Sugarman
Are you looking for an inspirational movie? Check out “Searching for Sugarman”, a documentary about a Detroit rocker known as “Rodriguez”. Never recognized in the U.S., Rodriguez was dropped from his label after recording “Cold Fact” (1970) and “Coming from Reality” in 1971.
Unbeknownst to him, Rodriguez became the voice of anti apartheid in South Africa. Young Afrikaans listened to his “anti-establishment” lyrics at a time of widespread censorship in their own country. While Rodriguez toiled as a laborer in gritty Detroit, he became a pop icon and a voice for South Africans seeking social justice.
Two devoted South African fans searched several continents to find out what happened to Rodriguez, who was more popular than Elvis and considered on a par with Dylan. It was widely believed that he had committed suicide. Find out what they discovered in 1998!
My movie going experience was enhanced by a chance encounter after the show. I discussed the movie with a couple, one of them a South African with vivid memories of Rodriguez’s popularity. They were going home to download his songs.
Run, don’t walk, to see “Searching for Sugarman”. This is definitely a winner, for the beautiful music and intriguing story line. Reviewed September 21, 2012.
Reviewed September 21, 2012 by Anna M. Stathis, a civil rights attorney and frequent guest contributor to UrbanLand Media.