Despite coming from Detroit, chances are you’ve never heard of rock musician Rodriguez, especially if you’re from the US. The 1970’s Mexican-American folk rocker has become an icon in South Africa and other places around the world and a new documentary from Malik Bendjelloul explores the obscure life of this man. Winning the audience and grand prize awards for documentary at Sundance this year, Searching For Sugar Man has gotten nearly unanimous rave reviews and the first trailer has arrived today. While we all love documentaries on our favorite musicians, I also adore ones that bring one into an entire world you never knew existed, and this looks to fall into that category, with some twists to boot. Check it out below.
Aspiring ’70s folk rock musician Rodriguez never made it big. Despite critical praise, his albums bombed in the U.S., and he faded promptly into obscurity, leaving behind only urban legends of a gruesome onstage suicide. But somehow a bootleg copy of his album made its way to apartheid South Africa, where his antiestablishment message and distinctive sound resonated with the youth protest movement there, making Rodriguez an instant superstar. Decades later, two intrepid fans decide to investigate whatever happened to the mysterious rocker. While initially frustrated by a dearth of leads, they eventually trace his roots to 1970s Detroit and a producer named Mike Theodore, who drops a bombshell that completely changes the nature of their investigation.
Searching For Sugar Man hits theaters on July 27th.