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Neil D Review: Searching for Sugar Man (12) RE: Review: Searching for Sugar Man 09 Jan 14

An absolutely amazing story of an extraordinary artist, who is also a truly remarkable man. A poet from the streets whose career just never took off, he spent the next several decades doing the most filthy backbreaking labor imaginable. Meanwhile, in South Africa he was bigger than Elvis and the Beatles, the musical inspiration for the first generation of young whites to begin resisting their government's apartheid policies. In that country his records sold in the 100s of thousands and he never saw a cent. And yet, he shows no hint of bitterness for the royalties he never saw, the opportunities missed or hard physical labor. As I said a remarkable man.
   Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul made this documentary with a practically non-existent budget, shooting much of it with his smartphone, yet it has won many awards, including the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. The interviews are often quite touching, especially the ones with his daughters and a friend/co-worker with a philosophical bent. And the serendipitous soundtrack, a song for every story, a melody for every mood, exposes the breadth and depth of his unique musical vision. In spite of the length of this review, I've barely skimmed the outline of this remarkable story, so if you haven't seen it, please do.
    I originally rented the DVD when it first came out. Then, during a 2 month period when my cable company accidentally gave me all the premium channels for free, it was being shown a couple times a week. I would be surfing and stumble across "Searching For Sugar Man" and think I'm not going to watch this since I just saw it. Yet within a minute I would be caught up in the story all over again and couldn't turn it off. Even on the 6th viewing I was still getting choked up and teary-eyed in places.
Sandrevan Lullaby

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