You may have heard all the buzz about this great documentary Searching for Sugarman. I saw it with my dad one weekend in a theatre that fit a max of 18 people. Not expecting much or at least not knowing what to expect, I was blown away!
The documentary follows the owner of a record store in South Africa all the way to Detroit in search of the truth about one of his favorite American musicians, Rodriguez.
Rodriguez gained fame in South Africa during the 1970s. His music gave a voice to youth and inspired them to fight against their oppressive government. He never gained much fame in the US, but his music is beautiful and very Dylan-esque. There was a story going around that he had died, of either natural causes or suicide. No one really knew the answer. His South African fans would occasionally talk about their long-lost idol on message boards and other online forums. Then his daughter saw the blogs and revealed to his fans that Rodriguez was alive and well, but no longer performing.
The documentary explores the uphill battle Rodriguez faced while launching his career and what led to him eventually abandoning his music. It ends with the singer retuning to the stage in South Africa and performing in front of his fans, who thought they’d never get the chance to see him in concert. The movie is beautiful and inspiring—maybe one of the best documentaries I have ever watched.
And let me tell you—his music is just as great as the film. His lyrics are poetry and his voice is just… there aren’t words. I strongly encourage you to watch the film, if you haven’t already. It is a story that people need to hear.
Rodriguez recently launched a worldwide tour, hitting major cities in the US, Europe, Australia and South Africa. The Huffington Post covered his New York performance, saying that while his voice may not be what it once was, his fans are still dedicated. They appreciate what he did for them nearly 40 years ago. Rodriguez inspired a generation and a movement—an impact that is unforgettable to most.
You can read more about Rodriquez and find his tour dates here.
Featured image via Sugarman.org