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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sugarman nostalgia
I am South African and I loved this film. A trip down memory lane like no other. Every song brought back memories of the times we lived in, how we wished to change the landscape we found ourselves in. To actually find about the man who made us question our government, our religion, our parents - was simple marvellous. To discover more about how he lived his own values. To...
Published on 20 Aug 2012 by shawnf

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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting documentary, great music
Before seeing the film I had never heard of the singer Rodriguez, but my daughter and I both enjoyed his music a great deal, and I went straight on Amazon to buy the CD (Cold Fact) after we had watched the film

As to the documentary itself, we both enjoyed it a lot. It is in a similar style to the documentaries BBC4 puts out on a Friday night about various...
Published on 27 Oct 2012 by H. Ashford


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sugarman nostalgia, 20 Aug 2012
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
I am South African and I loved this film. A trip down memory lane like no other. Every song brought back memories of the times we lived in, how we wished to change the landscape we found ourselves in. To actually find about the man who made us question our government, our religion, our parents - was simple marvellous. To discover more about how he lived his own values. To meet his family, to be reminded of ones own family. I really hope he tours again. To see him in the flesh like the lucky few who have would be a highlight of my life. A true inspiration.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "...I Think Of You..." - Searching For Sugar Man (featuring RODRIGUEZ) on BLU RAY, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
In some respects to review the fantastic documentary film "Searching For Sugar Man" is to ruin it. But here's the 'some-info' version minus spoilers...

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez (pronounced Sees-Toe) was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1942 to recently emigrated Mexican parents. From the early to late Sixties, Motown had put the Motor City on the musical map - so emerging singer-songwriters cut their teeth in bars and cafes, soaked up the campus/street politics and hoped to get noticed. After an early 7" single in 1967 on Impact that folded without trace - enter Producer Dennis Coffey and Sussex Records (home of Bill Withers). Sixto's debut American album "Cold Fact" was released Stateside March 1970 on Sussex SXBS 7000 - followed the next year by "Coming From Reality" - November 1971 on Sussex SXBS 7012. But despite their musical quality - few noticed locally. Legend in fact has it that "Coming From Reality" sold less than 20 copies.

Cut to the other side of the world - South Africa - and young black and white kids are plagued by Apartheid. With lyrics like "drinking from a Judas cup...papa don't like new ideas round here..." or "I wonder will this hatred ever end?" - they pick up on the Arthur Lee melodies and the Bob Dylan protest lyrics and the soulful Jose Feliciano voice and the album becomes a huge hit over there. So Rodriguez tours and those shows are emblazoned into the memory. But then the mysterious American immigrant troubadour disappears...some even ruminating that he's dead - or never existed at all.

Cut to decades later and a South African secondhand record-store owner wonders what happened to this huge and positive influence in his life? And so the journey begins...searching for the sugar man...

As a cartoon figure wanders across the dirty city streets of a cold Detroit with a guitar case strapped over his shoulder - you listen to tracks like "Crucify Your Mind" and "Inner City Blues" - and you wonder how in God's name you've never heard this great music before. Politics, Mafia swindles, radio indifference - all of it probably. But it's what happens next that makes you double take and grin from ear to ear all the way to the joyous end...

I urge you to buy either of the stunning Light in The Attic CD/LP remasters of both albums ("Cold Fact" on LITA 036 or "Coming From Reality" on LITA 038). The "Coming From Reality" album has "I Think Of You" - as lovely a melody as you've ever heard. The album finisher "Cause" has stunning lyrics - "Cause I lost my job two weeks before Christmas - and I talked to Jesus at the sewer - and the Pope said it was none of his Goddamn business..." The CD reissue even has three tracks from his aborted 3rd album - "Can't Get Away" showing how well his songwriting had progressed. After them make a beeline to this wonderful BLU RAY.

To sum up - you know the way you look at hundreds of 5-Star reviews and wonder what all the love is about - don't.

They're all right...
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and inspirational, 31 Aug 2012
By 
BigLankyGeordie "BLG." (Geordieland, near England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
I have just pre-ordered this DVD because it made such a profound impact on me when I saw it on the big screen at the Tyneside Cinema.

It is a brilliant film. I already liked his music but I came away in awe of the man. He is everything the average, dumb-head pop star isn't. He's talented, inconspicuous and meek and a very kind, gentle human being. One of the things that almost moved me to tears was the bit in the film where his daughter says the money he latterly earned from his success he gave away to the poor of Detroit. Brilliant! I hope I would do that in the same situation!

It's a film filled with drama and emotion, telling a story chronologically and with powerful imagery from Detroit and Cape Town backed up by spine-tingling music from the man himself.

If you don't enjoy and even love this film I will be frankly amazed. He is playing at the Sage Newcastle on 24th Nov - I CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Guys do win, sometimes, 17 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
I had the fortune/misfortune to spend my teenage years in South Africa under the stifling regime that was Apartheid. Now as a white person my experiences were no where near as bad for me as it was for the indigenous black population.

Only State controlled media was allowed and TV was still a couple of years away, but out of the fog of State Censorship came Cold Fact followed by After the Fact. And Rodriguez entered the life of a frustrated teenager.

I am happy to see that nearly 40 years later this artist who played such a large role in my teenage angst is getting the recognition, and royalties, he richly deserves. This documentary is well made and well worth the BAFTA, and hopefully an Oscar, it has already won. If you don't know of Rodriguez then this documentary is a great introduction to his story and music, if like me his music played constantly around the camp fire, the bedroom, the car and anywhere else you could play it as a teenager, then enjoy the trip down memory lane.

Searching For Sugar Man [Blu-ray]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wonder..., 2 Dec 2012
By 
Owen Hughes (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
As many others have said, this is a truly astonishing and uplifting documentary. To think that an artist can flop so badly in America, barely selling 100 records, and yet inspire a whole generation and be their "Bob Dylan" or "Rolling Stones" in another country, yet at the same time be utterly oblivious to it; it's incredible.

Until I first heard about this film, I'd never heard of Rodriguez before. I'd never heard his music, never known about the impact he had on revolutionising a nation, never even heard his name mentioned. This, I think, is the best way to go into the documentary.

Although at the heart of this story is the journey that some South African's go on to find out "who is Rodriguez" - a man who, even to the nation he helped change, was a complete mystery - I think I enjoyed it more being blissfully ignorant. It's a journey I felt glad to follow and made me feel a part of the exploration. I am now aware of Rodriguez, and so should others be!

Aside from being uplifting, the film tries to shed light on corruption and deceit within the music industry itself, but that aspect does feel a bit tame; like they're trying not to tread too deep into potentially libellous territory. For example, when they're "following the money" to try and trace what happened to Rodriguez, you get to see a brief clip of an interview with Motown legend Clarence Avant which gets cut short relatively quickly. I couldn't help but wonder how much was removed due to the threat of legal action?

But almost everyone else in this documentary comes across as genuine, humble, likeable people. The fact there were rumours of Rodriguez's suicide all around South Africa, no-one truly knew what he was like, where he was even from in America, it created this sense of wonder that as a viewer is transferred to you. It's a real credit to the director, Malik Bendjelloul. I'm expecting big things from him in the future and will be keeping a look out for any future works of his!

I recommend this documentary highly. It's bound to make you feel good about the world and most of all, it's fun and entertaining. A fantastic piece of film making.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Film!, 30 Dec 2012
By 
David Lusher (London England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
This beautifully made documentary is, like the story of Rodriguez, irresistible. How a musician, long forgotten in his own country, can be a superstar in another without him being aware of this is a screenwriter's dream. I suppose the story seems even more fantastic in our modern hot-news, hooked-up, internet-driven world. This is an absorbing film about a modest man whose music was played, recorded and released in the US in the early 1970s. His records 'Cold Fact' and 'Coming From Reality' did nothing and he quietly faded into obscurity. Meanwhile, in South Africa, his music quietly and steadily gained cult status. No-one knew anything about the musician until a journalist started digging. What he found was extraordinary and this film tells the story. Highly recommended. The albums are superb too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Search is Over!, 22 May 2014
By 
W. Mccourt (County Durham, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man (DVD)
[...] That is all you need to know about the man. The movie on the other hand is a must watch for any music fan whatever genre floats your boat. It tracks the progress of two intrepid South African 'detectives' who refuse to believe that their hero is actually dead (simply because the facts surrounding this event are sketchy at best & are so wide & varied depending who they speak to!) All the while their search is ongoing, Rodriguez is living in complete ignorance in Detroit, working on a construction site, of his extraordinary fame on the other side of the world & it is only by pure chance that his daughter happens upon a website dedicated to finding the truth about the legend that is Rodriguez.
Without giving too much away about the film, it concludes with some of the most heart rendering scenes any movie has ever shown made all the more poignant by the fact this is a true story. In my opinion, this is one of the most intriguing spectacles I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing & you could do a lot worse than take a punt on it, he deserves to have his story told to all and sundry!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad I found Sugar Man!, 24 Aug 2012
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
As per the last person to leave a review, I came home from the cinema & immediately downloaded the soundtrack & pre-orered the DVD. I knew nothing about the artist before seeing the film, but came away a convert, to both his music & his remarkble story.I am only too aware that by saying too much here, I could ruin it for so many others. So, I'll just say 'WATCH THIS FILM' instead!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bigger Than Elvis, 11 Nov 2012
By 
K. Wright - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
"Searching for Sugar Man," is a documentary following two South Africans as they search for the elusive Detroit musician Sixto Rodriguez, who released two critically acclaimed albums which didn't sell. Unbeknownst to Rodriguez, he became an icon in South Africa during the height of apartheid and 3 decades later his fans try to uncover the mystery surrounding the unknown songwriter who was rumoured to have committed suicide.

Set to a soundtrack of Rodriguez's original recordings, a picture of the Sugar Man is built up by those that grew up with his music in South Africa as well as people who remember him in Michigan including interviews with music executives, producers and journalists. This is a heart-warming story of how music can break down boundaries and inspire generations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If Dylan sounded good - this man's voice is off the scale., 6 Nov 2012
By 
Mr. B. R. Good (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] (DVD)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This film is a work of art. From the beautiful cinematography, to the emotional, almost impossible story, it's a quite beautiful piece of documentary film-making.

Sixto Diaz Rodriguez's voice is something very special. His vocals sound nothing like he looks or speaks. He sings from deep inside, almost as if an imaginary amplifier is projecting his voice. In fact his voice appears to mimic the effects that adding reverb would produce. It's a crisp vocal style, occasionally melting into a warble. His style features certain melodic embellishments that are reminiscent of 60's folk artists who often mixed melody with spoken words. Example, "The Establishment Blues".

So - what the hell happened? Why was Rodriguez not as big as Dylan? Where is the money?
The film leaves as much questions unanswered as it succeeds in explaining. That is not a criticism. It's a sad fact. Record labels made money and produced albums that hundreds of thousands of people in South Africa bought over the decades.

My own theory: I believe that Rodriguez's story has a lot in common with another star who vanished into American suburban anonymity - Bobbie Gentry. Both developed a dislike for the nasty side of performing. Bad venues, life on the road, dealing with unpleasant crowds and more. Having studied the film carefully I think it's pretty obvious that Rodriguez loved his craft but lost his confidence. Lost his nerve. And this is why the film is so sweet. There is a beautiful conclusion.
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Searching For Sugar Man [DVD]
Searching For Sugar Man [DVD] by Malik Bendjelloul (DVD - 2012)
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