Searching for Sugar Man



In the early 1970s, Sixto Rodriguez was a Detroit folksinger who had a short-lived recording career with only two well received but non-selling albums. Unknown to Rodriquez, his musical story continued in South Africa where he became a pop music icon and insertion for generations. Long rumoured there to be dead by suicide, a few fans in the late 1990s decided to seek out the truth of their hero’s fate. What follows is a bizarrely heartening story in which they found far more in their quest than they ever hoped, while a Detroit construction labourer discovered that his lost artistic dreams came true after all.

DIRECTOR: Malik Bendjelloul

Stephen ‘Sugar’ Segerman , Dennis Coffey , Mike Theodore

RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes


COUNTRY: Sweden, United Kingdom

BBFC RATING: 12A (Click here for the full classification report)

Official Trailer


The Guardian logo
It’s one thing to discover a new talent, quite another to rediscover an old talent. The two experiences offer different satisfactions. The former involves the capacity to recognise and create fashion. The latter offers the pleasures of defying changing fashions, of restoring and confirming old hopes, beliefs and enthusiasms, of seeing justice done and traditions confirmed … Click here for the full review
The good news about Searching for Sugar Man is that it is not a summer blockbuster about a man endowed with superpowers after eating a spoonful of radioactive demerara. The better news is that it is one of the most uplifting documentaries in recent memory … Click here for the full review

Mark Kermode

Outspoken, opinionated and never lost for words, Mark Kermode is the UK’s leading film critic.Feted as one of the finest film reviewers of his generation as well as for his impeccably-coiffured quiff, Mark Kermode presents the film review on Radio 5 live with Simon Mayo in a broadcast partnership that has lasted nearly 20 years.
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Empire Online logo
Some say Mexican-American singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez could have been as big as Dylan, yet his first album bombed on release in 1970s America and he was dropped by his label. But unbeknown to the near-penniless Detroit artist he was a sensation in South Africa, where people grooved to his folk tunes and chanted his anti-establishment lyrics. This is the quest of two South Africans to find their hero … Click here for the full review and rating
In the early ’70s, after two failed albums of politicised folk, Detroit singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez shot himself onstage. Or did he set himself on fire?These were the rumours that accompanied the bootlegging of his 1970 album Cold Fact in South Africa, where his records caught the imagination of middle-class liberals … Click here for the full review and rating

“The perfect story is one you can retell in three minutes, and every single sentence is interesting,” advises Malik Bendjelloul. “When I told people the skeleton of this story, it was like ‘Wow!’ and then ‘wow!’ and then ‘wow!’… I’d never heard a story that provoked so much energy when I told it.” … Click here for the full review