Wednesday, April 25, 2012

De Musica Ligera: Sugar Man of Steel

This year’s version of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York started one week ago today and will end this Sunday. One of the most focused upon news stories of the event has been the disappearance (and possible defection) of two Cuban actors who starred in a “One Night,” a film featured in Tribeca about Cuban migrants journeying to the U.S.

Among the films in Tribeca focusing on Latinos and Latin America is “Searching for Sugar Man” a documentary on the Mexican-American folk singer simply known as Rodriguez.

Rodriguez may not be a household name in the country of his birth, yet his soulful and politically-conscious music of the 1970s made an impact in numerous nations thousands of miles away. One of these countries was South Africa where his songs resonated with a younger generation opposed to Apartheid and the government’s authoritarianism.

Though Rodriguez was a superstar in South Africa he was unaware that he gained such a status. Thus, an urban legend grew amongst his fans in that country where it as rumored that he committed suicide by going onstage and either lighting himself on fire or shooting himself in the head.

“Searching for Sugar Man” follows two of his South African fans determined to find out the true fate of their musical hero. This brief clip from the documentary provides a glimpse at how Rodriguez’ music taught thousands of South Africans that it was “okay to protest against society”:

“Searching for Sugar Man” will be screened this Friday night at the Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 7 in New York City.

The film is planned for release in New York and Los Angeles on July 27, with more cities to follow.

(Hat tip: Brooklyn Vegan, which also reveals if the urban legend on Rodriguez’ death is true or not).

Video Source – YouTube via MovieclipsCOMINGSOON

Online Sources – Official websites for the Tribeca Film Festival and “Searching for Sugar Man”, Brooklyn Vegan

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