Searching for Sugar Man
Oscar Tune Up: Searching for Sugar Man
In 1968, two producers went to a downtown Detroit bar to see an unknown recording artist – a charismatic Mexican-American singer/songwriter named Rodriguez, who had attracted a local following with his mysterious presence, soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They believed the album they subsequently produced with Rodriguez – Cold Fact – was the masterpiece of their producing careers. Despite good reviews, Cold Fact was a commercial disaster and marked the end of Rodriguez’s recording career before it had even started. Rodriguez sank back into obscurity. This was not the end of Rodriguez’s story. A bootleg recording of Cold Fact somehow found its way to South Africa in the early 1970s. Rodriguez’s anti-establishment lyrics and observations as an outsider in urban America felt particularly resonant for a whole generation of disaffected Afrikaners. The mystery surrounding the artist’s death helped secure Rodriguez’s place in rock legend and Cold Fact quickly became the anthem of the white resistance in Apartheid-era South Africa.
Director: Malik Bendjelloul 2012 Sweden/UK 86min. PG-13 35mm
Nominated for 1 Academy Award: Documentary Feature
Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Address: 415 Couch