Searching for Sugar Man
Have you ever wondered how your life might have turned out different if you would have chosen another path or made an alternative decision? This is a question the audience must contemplate in the riveting new film Searching for Sugar Man. Although Searching for Sugar Man is categorized as a documentary it is much more. It is the true story about the musical artist known as Rodriguez, but it is also part mystery and part music video. It is a gripping tale that will draw you in and keep you mesmerized until the end.
Without giving away too many details, I can tell you the film is about Rodriguez, an incredible singer songwriter who recorded two albums in the early 1970’s. The albums were received well by critics and anyone that heard them, but they did not sell in the United States. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez the albums were a huge hit in South Africa. In South Africa Rodriguez was as big as The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and many other household names, but no one knew anything about him. It was rumored that he was dead, but no one could confirm or deny this. To the people of South Africa Rodriguez was a mystery.
Searching for Sugar Man is not only an amazing story, but it also introduces the world to a talented artist. Director Malik Bendjelloul does a superb job of creating a balanced film that is part story and part music. At the same time the story develops you are also discovering incredible music that has not been heard by anyone outside of South Africa. Part of the mystery is in the story itself, but part of it is also in how a musician like this could go undiscovered for so long. I not only left Searching for Sugar Man moved by a great film, but I left a fan of Rodriguez, a man I had never heard of before the film began.
If Searching for Sugar Man was only a good film, with a good story, about a good musician, then that would be enough, but it is more than that. As the film progresses it deepens and challenges us as human beings. It raises questions about life and the pursuit of happiness. Is success something we should seek? Is there more to life than money and material possessions? These are questions the audience must wrestle with. Searching for Sugar Man will cause you to examine your own life and the way you are living.
Some people may be leery about going to the movie theater to see a documentary. Let me just say that documentaries have come a long way, and are now some of the best films produced each year. It really is true that some stories are so incredible they could not be made up. Searching for Sugar Man is better than most of the summer movies created in a Hollywood studio. Do not be afraid to see this film just because it is a documentary. Within minutes of it beginning you will forget that you are watching a documentary, and you will be enraptured by a story that will touch your heart and challenge your mind. Searching for Sugar Man is not just a film that entertains; it is a film that will move you in a deep and meaningful way.