Searching for Sugar Man is a 2012 documentary film created by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul about 2 African friends who embark on a journey to find out what happened to their favorite musician, the mysterious 70’s rocker Rodriguez. Rodriguez (b 1942) was a folk singer during the 1970’s, he was a respected musician and had two albums which gave him some notoriety but never gained any popular, or commercial attention in the United States. However, the albums found their way to South Africa and became very popular making Rodriguez a famous icon over there. He was always a mysterious, unknown character to the African people and by the early 1990’s it was rumured that he had killed himself. The documentary Searching for Sugar Man is the heartwarming and often strange story of a few fans who wanted to find out what happended to Rodriguez, but they ended up finding a lot more than that.
Searching for Sugar Man was made on a shoe-string budget which made it hard to shoot the documentary on Super 8 film for stylised effect, it got to a point when the financial backers of the project threatened to pull the plug so Malik Bendjelloul ended up filming the latter stylised shots on an iphone with an 8mm vintage camera app installed. Never the less the documentary was released at the Sundance film festival in January 2012 to standing ovation and was awarded the Special Jury Prize.