'Searching for Sugar Man' sings sweet story of music non-legend

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comOctober 26, 2012 

Searching for Sugar Man is an amazing, must-see documentary, a musical mystery wrapped in the story of an enigmatic, very private singer/songwriter from Detroit.

His name is Rodriguez. He did two superb albums in 1970 and 1971. They were critically acclaimed but no one bought them.

With no record sales, and no future in the biz, Rodriguez disappeared shortly after the release of album No. 2. One rumor says he put a bullet in his head on stage at a concert. Another has him dying of a drug overdose.

Stop reading here if you're going to see this -- and you should see this. If you don't know Rodriguez's story, the surprises provide most of the fun of the documentary.

For those of you still reading, this is an incredible, uplifting and always fascinating film.

Rodriguez's impact on the world -- until now -- has been zero except in South Africa where anti-apartheid white kids embraced the message of his exceptional lyrics and songs.

How Rodriguez's music wound up in South Africa and meant so much to the people of that country is a mystery. How he ended up a legend in one section of the world and nowhere else -- and the details of his life from 1971 to now -- and his resurgence and new-found fame is not be missed.

A couple of weeks ago I caught Rodriguez in concert. If you ever get a chance, you should see him, too. It was an incredible night and an honor to actually see a man who at the end of a life that some thought ended eons ago, has become the legend he should have become in the 1970s.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It's playing at the Carmike 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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