Searching for Sugar Man

Director Malik Bendjelloul
Sweden, United Kingdom / 83 min. / 2012 / English

Rodríguez, the Hispanic Dylan, recorded his mega-hits of 60’s folk-rock protest and then disappeared while his songs hit #1 in South Africa. Is he still alive? Detectives and fans get together to solve the mystery, in a documentary that’s more action-packed than an adventure film.


Here at In-Edit, we’ve shown various documentaries about rescuing forgotten artists, but the “Where the **** are they now?” genre has never reached the epic proportions of Searching for Sugarman. We’re talking about the stuff detective films are made of. The missing chap in question is Sixto Rodríguez, better known by his artistic name, Rodríguez, who recorded two splendid acid folk-rock albums on the Sussex label in the mid-sixties, only to disappear into the mist a few days later. The documentary covers the process of searching for that undiscovered Hispanic-Filipino Dylan, without letting spoilers slip, and in such a way that we grow progressively more flabbergasted as the plot thickens. Fans, detectives and family members start extinguishing the first rumours (one of the most malignant being that he shot himself on stage), and we go on to discover that Rodríguez was famous in South Africa, where he was more adored than the Rolling Stones and The Beatles put together. And there’s more: his songs were hymns for the anti-apartheid white youth and he sold thousand of records (without taking royalties), So: is he still alive?  The outcome of this memorable docu-thriller is something you’ll have to witness for yourselves.


Malik Bendjelloul is an actor reborn as a director. He must be chuffed: his debut won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Prize for Best International Documentary at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, among many others.



Showing format

Oscar 2013 (Best Documentary) IN-EDIT 2012 (Best International Music Doc) Sundance Film Festival (World Cinema Jury Prize & World Cinema Audience Award) IDFA 2012 (Best International Music Doc)

in festivals
Sundance Film Festival

Sixto Rodríguez, Stephen "Sugar" Segerman, Dennis Coffey, MIke Theodore

Malik Bendjelloul

Malik Bendjelloul

Camilla Skagerström

Sound designer
Per Nystrom

Music Composer
Sixto Rodríguez

Music supervisor
Per Nyström

John Battsek, Simon Chinn , Malik Bendjelloul

Film company
Red Box Films, Passion Pictures

Film distributor
Protagonist Pictures

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