February 2, 2013

Searching For Sugar Man

I love documentaries, do you? There's something utterly fascinating about well told real life stories - I'll take them any day over fiction. I'm always interested in seeing what makes people tick. 
Last night we saw an amazing documentary called Searching for Sugar Man. It's the story of a brilliant songwriter (Sixto Rodriguez), along the lines of Bob Dylan, who was relatively unknown in his home country, the United States. What he didn't know, was that in South Africa, everyone owned his records. He was a pivotal part of their music collection. In South Africa, Rodriguez was bigger than the Rolling Stones. He was bigger than Elvis. If you owned any albums it was the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel and Rodriguez. Sadly, Rodriguez was never made aware of any of this. He worked in the United States as a roofer, doing odd jobs in the construction business. His record company label kept his royalties and never let on that he was selling hundreds of thousands of albums overseas while he toiled away at a very modest life in America. 
Meanwhile, in South Africa, rumours abounded that Rodriguez had commit suicide while on stage in America.
Once South African journalists/music execs started tracing his story, they uncovered an amazing trail leading to a modern day prophet. I highly recommend this documentary to music fans and was thrilled to find out that it has been nominated for an Academy Award. 

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