Monday, 25 March 2013

Searching for sugar man

Sixto Rodriguez: alive and well



Each time the yearly ritual associated with the Oscar Awards ceremony takes centre stage and we are, invariably, flooded with the usual PR machine that sorrounds this, in my  humble opinion, uninteresting and boring event, I tend to ignore it. I'm aware that, in doing so, I may miss some interesting and even good films that are either awarded or shortlisted by the Academy.
It is the case with this year's award for best documentary; I had been told about Searching for Sugar Man months ago but it was only a couple of weeks that I managed to watch it.
The story of Sixto Rodriguez, a Detroit-born musician, is really remarkable; and so is the documentary that follows the steps undertaken by two South-African fans, who had set out to confirm the rumours about the dramatic death on stage of Rodriguez. I won't spoil readers on what follows next but, really, I think it's worth finding it out for yourself.
It would be very easy to throw a few clich├ęd adjectives (heartwarming and uplifting are only two that come to mind straight away). I will refrain from doing so, mainly because much has been written about this documentary.
The fact that Sixto's career has been re-launched thanks to this documentary reminds me of what Ry Cooder had done with that bunch of brilliant Cuban musicians, who rose to a late yet well deserved music stardom  thanks to that stunning album Buena Vista Social Club.
The music featured in the film (Sixto's songs) is equally stunning and one can only wonder how on earth this man didn't achieve global success earlier on his career.