Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Searching for Sugar Man

There are few times in my life when I have to stop, listen and be in awe of what I've heard and seen.

But, that is the case with Rodriguez.

Here's a little primer on Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, a folk musician in the mold of Bob Dylan.

He looks like a native American, but is actually a Mexican-American from Detroit, the most ravaged city in America.

After recording two albums in 1970 and 1971 that didn't sell at all, Rodriguez was forced to give up on his dream as a singer-songwriter.

He spent the next four decades working as a day laborer.

That's when the alternate universe kicked in.

You see, in South Africa for the last 40 years, Rodriguez has been revered as Dylan is in America.

Many South Africans said Rodriguez' music was "the soundtrack to our lives," according to a report on "60 Minutes."

It inspired a fledgling Swiss filmmaker to make a documentary about Rodriquez on his iPhone.

Even though the documentary wasn't finished, Malik Bendjelloul submitted it to Robert Redford's Sundance film festival which promptly slated it as the festival's opening film.

The movie, "Searching for Sugar Man," could win the Oscar for best documentary next year. It played here briefly in Bend at Pilot Butte Six.

The whole story is astonishing. The music is actually hypnotic.

It's one of the most poignant, inspirational stories I've heard in many years.

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