SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN
Of all the films up for Best Documentary Feature, “Searching For Sugar Man” appears to be the favorite among Oscar experts. With winning producer Simon Chinn (“Man On Wire” (2008)) at the helm, this heartfelt, hybrid documentary takes you on a journey through the life of singer/songwriter Rodriguez, starting with him recording his first album, to being forgotten, to reemerging as a huge unknown star of South Africa. “Searching For Sugar Man” may have one key that all the other documentaries have failed to produce thus far and that’s universal appeal. Anyone, young or old, could appreciate this film, as it delivers a very satisfying story arc that produces humor, mystery, affection, and admiration. Having already won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, “the film also won the Audience Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Durban International Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Melbourne Film Festival, and the Grand Jury Prize at the Moscow International Film Festival”. To say that if this film wins Best Documentary that I would not be the slightest surprised is an understatement.
“Searching for Sugar Man” is an amazing true story and the creators of this film are master storytellers, delivering a powerful plot progression that starts you off with a “hypothesis”, leads you through their research, and leads to the epic discovery of a man that everyone in South Africa thought was dead. To have this musician’s story played out for you, thinking he is dead until the moment of their realization, and then, to have this musician be apart of the film through interviews and footage of his return to music, makes for one of the most memorable music documentaries I’ve ever witnessed. It’s a tale that is both heartbreaking and uplifting, with a man that truly deserves recognition but is content living an average life.
// Produced by Simon Chinn & John Battsek // Directed by Malik Bendjelloul //
// Dated Viewed: Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013 // DVD // 20 films – 34 days //