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Winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary and the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Searching for Sugar Man took the world by storm when it was released in 2012.

The incredible story of the artist known as Rodriguez, who passed away in August of 2023, and who was relegated to musical obscurity until a bootleg recording of his found its way into apartheid South Africa in the 1990s, inspiring a movement of fans to find out what really happened to their cult hero.

In the late ‘60s, two celebrated producers, who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics, discovered a musician in a Detroit bar. They recorded an album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity.

But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and, over the next two decades, it became a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez. Searching For Sugar Man is a film about hope, inspiration and the resonating power of music.

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  • Director(s)

    • Malik Bendjelloul

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