Searching for a hero
Truth is stranger than fiction, they say. Consider this story, for instance. A latin guitarist-singer in the dangerous, foggy streets and bars of Detroit wins a record deal and creates pure magic. His records don’t sell. But they do, in South Africa. In fact, he becomes so revered in South Africa that he becomes bigger than Elvis. His aura becomes larger than life because no one in South Africa knows anything about him. They find their voice in his words. It spins off an underground music revolution in South Africa. In South Africa, it is assumed that he is dead.
Years later, a nosy journalist picks up this story to find out how this remarkably mysterious artist died. He realizes he has been asking the wrong questions and when he starts asking the right questions, the answers begin to startle him.
Chronicling a remarkable, sometimes frankly unbelievable, story of Sixto (Jesus) Rodriguez, Malik Bendjelloul attempts an impossible tale. It’s impossible to tell because its true. Without the liberty of creating your own world, you are confined to finding facts, filling loopholes, trying to obtain rhyme and reason when there might be none. In real life, not everything has a reason. How do you translate this to celluloid? This is why documentaries, when told well, are sometimes far more enriching than a film. Malik Bendjelloul tells this remarkable tale, stitching together facts and footages to create a rich tapestry.
‘Searching for Sugar Man’ is a beautiful film and one that I highly recommend.