OK for kids 14+
Intriguing docu about missing musician; some language, pot.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Searching for Sugar Man is an acclaimed documentary with some references to drug use and some news footage of police and protester violence during apartheid. Expect strong, but brief swearing, specifically in lyrics, including "faggot," "f--k," and "hooker."
- Families can talk about the filmmakers choice to make a movie about Rodriguez. What makes his story compelling? Where would you look for a good story to tell in film or writing?
- How did Rodriguez react to learning about his unexpected fame? How do you think you would react?
- What do you think about Rodriguez's music? Why didn't his career take off? Why did it catch on in South Africa?
The good stuff
Messages: Never give up might be the most important message here, even if it takes years to achieve something. Rodriguez, the musician at the center of this doc, finally finds success, decades after releasing the album that was supposed to make him famous. It did, kind of, but in a most unlikely way, finally finding its audience on the far side of the world. While the artist toiled away taking menial jobs, he was completely unaware that he had become a household name in South Africa.
Role models: Rodriguez is a character study in humility. Having accepted that his musical career would never take off, he quietly raised a family, taking odd jobs and menial labor to get by. Years later, when he finally finds fame in far off South Africa, he refuses to take the trappings of success for granted, and when his tour is complete, he happily returns to his quiet life in the U.S. He's happy with success, but he doesn't let it get to his head.
What to watch for
Violence: Old news footage of demonstrations in which people clash with the police. Cops push, beat, and even shoot protestors. Some shots of dead bodies. A few people in interviews describe stories of a musician killing himself onstage in quite graphic detail.
Sex: Not an issue
Language: Occasional swearing and name-calling, including "faggot" and "hooker" in lyrics, plus "s--t," "ass," and "f--k" in conversation.
Consumerism: The film includes numerous snippets of Rodriguez's album Cold Fact, and the entire focus is on the life and career of this 1970s artist who disappeared before his work could catch on.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some general references to drugs, mainly pot use.
Fan Reviews provided by
Searching for Sugar Man by gavinjonas
Wonderful, moving story of Rodriguez and his impact on South Africa during the 70's. Loved the movie, the story, the glimpses into an apartheid era South Africa.
You've Got to See Sugarman! by lindademars
This documentary is amazing. Little bit mystery, little bit travelogue, little bit history...LOTS of great music and a story about how we can inspire people that we don't know about and have never seen. Your mind won't wander for even a minute, and you'll add some new tunes to your IPod when you get home...
Mystery of Sugarman Solved by dougcolombo
This is an amazing documentary about a 70's artist that myself, America and most of the world have never heard of, but was and still is a huge hit in South Africa. Although the foundation of the story revolves around two men from different parts of the globe searching for information on a lost Rock and Roll artist, It ultimately is a story of resilience, resistance and a tale about how one person can have an affect on millions of people without ever knowing it. It is not necessary for me to explain anything beyond that, I'd like for you to see it and discover it for yourself, but "Searching for Sugar Man" the nickname of one of the people searching for him, and coincidentally also a song by the artist is a must see movie and a front runner for the documentary of the year come Oscar time. Please see it and thank me after you do.
A Must See Film! by curlygirlmirl
"just saw an unbelievable documentary called "Searching For Sugar Man". It's about an amazing 60s musician named Rodriquez. Buy his music!" - Jonah Hill
Very interesting by lizard in Arlington
I knew nothing about this movie before I went to see it. My mother-in-law said she had read about it in the NY Times and that it had great reviews, so my husband and I decided to go and see it in Shirlington. I was really amazed by the story and found it to be very sad and happy at the same time. It was such an interesting story about this man who I knew nothing about. I would definitely recommend to go and see this film.
Best movie in years! by rkolotkin
Don't miss this one. It is moving, uplifting and inspirational! A real winner.
Incredibly uplifting by fredslink
Best documentary I've seen. The story is too incredible to create!! Here's the hope that people that are truly deserving of having their talents heard eventually have them heard!! Hard to find a theater showing the movie, but take a trip and take the family to this one!!
Searching For Sugar Man by BARUCH12
Excellent Documentary. Although this music is not of my generation, I enjoyed it very much. Actually never really knew of Rodriguez until last couple of months. Should go see it.
A Profound Story. by Show Me Move Me Change Me
This was the most profound and mesmerizing film we've seen in decades. We were humbled by the revelations of our connection to each other, even others we've never met, thousands of miles away and to the need to wait and pay attention to the day before us and have faith for how or lives will unfold. I agree with this review from the Chicago Papers:
The information they eventually dislodge about Rodriguez suggests a secular saint, a deeply good man, whose music is the expression of a blessed inner being. I hope you're able to see this film. You deserve to. And yes, it exists because we need for it to.
A MUST FOR ALL WHO LOVE MUSIC AND A PORTRAIT OF A REAL, HONEST, ADULT FAIRY TALE. UPLIFTING!!! by Peneflix
This remarkable, magical documentary featuring a musician/composer who unbeknownst to him nurtured a revolution...
Director Malik Bendjelloul discovers "Rodriguez" (album "Cold Fact") at a Cape Town record shop, "Mabu Vinyl"; hence the glorious resurrection commences. "Searching for Sugar Man" is an exceptionally compelling film with dynamic contracts; the brutal, unrelenting, unforgiving winters of Detroit, bifurcated by the luxurious, lush landscape of balmy Cape Town; loneliness of a man treading gloveless, through snow- entrenched streets, a guitar his solitary companion, versus the monumental idolatry of South African audiences; touching, insightful commentaries by his friends and daughters, contrasting with astonishment, worship of young, idealistic fans...
***For full review visit peneflix (dot) com!!!