I have to confess: despite the fact that I watched this year’s Academy Awards ceremony (as I do every year for the past 18 years), I honestly did not remember the documentary film that won this year’s Oscar. I actually learned about the film, last summer when a South African friend, talked to me with excitement about “Searching for Sugar Man”. It seemed to me at the time as a very interesting, bizarre and really exciting story that I feared I would never have the chance to watch it in a Greek theatre.
Last week though, to my (pleasant) surprise, I found out that the film would be released to Greek theatres and luckily, I managed to win an invitation to the opening night.
So, this is what I have to say after watching “Searching for Sugar Man”.
It is the amazing story of an American folk singer named Rodriguez who released a couple of records in the 70s with almost zero success. What makes this story worth telling though is that this man had no idea that at the same time, he was gaining reputation in S. Africa, becoming one of the most successful musicians in the South African history! There, Rodriguez is more successful than Elvis, having sold more than 500.000 records, while in the words of Clarence Avant - founder of Sussex Records, Rodriguez’s label- in the US he sold only 6 records!
This documentary follows not only the story of Rodriquez, but also the story of his South African loyal fans, who take on a mission to discover the truth behind the mystery man with whom they connected so much via his songs, yet knew almost nothing about.
The film witnesses their journey and by sharing with the audience information little by little, just the way the fans were discovering it, it makes us part of this touching story of a man who had no idea the impact he had to a whole country for more than three decades.
Powerful, with simple story telling, “Searching for Sugar Man” is one of the most welldirected documentaries I have seen, made from fans with only but love and devotion towards their icon.
You can catch it in theatres in Greece starting this Thursday, the 21st of November.
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....