Searching For Sugar Man
* * * *
Cert 12A, 86mins
If you like the idea of popular music being a potent soundtrack to our lives, and in particular fancy a rarefied mixture of Motown, blues and folk, then this could just be your film of the year during its week-long run at the Electric Cinema from Friday.
It’s the story of sixth child (Sixto) Rodriguez, a Mexican-American songwriter whose albums Cold Fact (1970) and Coming From Reality (1971) disappeared without trace.
One man who remembers seeing him play live thought he was homeless.
Years later, even those who knew of him thought he was dead.
Now 70, Rodriguez is a restoration / demolition man, still living in the same modest house in Detroit from where he didn’t realise that, in the post-Apartheid South Africa, bootleg copies of his works had made him ‘bigger than Elvis’.
Record retailer Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segermen helped to rediscover Rodriguez to the point that he has played a limited number of rapturously-received concerts in South Africa. But he prefers the quiet life.
Laced with music that’s as fresh as today’s bread, Searching For Sugar Man is an inspirational, spiritual experience which illustrates how the purity of soul required to produce the finest works is not dependent on material gain.
Simon Cowell, take note.
Search For Sugar Man, which won awards at LA Film Festival, Sundance and Moscow, is on at the Electric Cinema, Station Street, Birmingham, from August 10-16th.