Searching for Sugarman: Dead man finds an audience

In this interesting docu-drama directed by  Malik Bendjelloul, two film-makers set out to the United States of America in an effort to uncover the truth about the death of Rodriguez, a singer who was more recognised in South Africa than he was in his own country.  Upon their arrival the United States of America, they discovered that the dead man that they are searching for is actually still alive. 

This documentary was filmed in both the Interactive mode of representation. I say this, because throughout the film, especially in the beginning where the filmmakers introduce us to the myth about the death of Rodriguez, we are aware of the fact that the filmmakers are participants in this film. This is also noticeable in the interviews done with Rodriguez, his friends as well as his family.

in terms of story-telling techniques, the film-maker are the initial story-tellers, but as the story unfolds, the individuals who are interviewed are the ones who help in fleshing out the story. Something I liked about this documentary is the fact that some of the soundtracks that play in the background tell the story of Rodriguez and in that support and compliment the content.

The film-makers of this documentary – who are also fans of Rodriguez – were very spontaneous in the making of this documentary, seeing as they set out with only lyrics as a clue of where the ‘deceased’ singer would have lived before his supposed death.

In this film, there are multiple story-tellers and therefore different perspectives of who the man Rodrigues was. the beautiful hing about this film is the fact that it becomes an autobiography of Rodriguez. It is a subjective documentary, in the sense that the idea to even create it rose from the desire to research a popular singer of whom both film-makers are fans.

in the fleshing out of the story of Rodriguez, still images are sometimes used as cutaway. This story-telling technique works well in that all the cutaway support and correlate with what is being said.

This is very impressive story-telling. Go ahead and watch it.


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