Searching for Sugar Man, the Oscar-winning documentary film by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul, hits you in the heart. You walk out of the theater feeling the world can be redeemed — and that it is possible for a person to be recognized for their talents and contributions even after years of obscurity and seeming inconsequence. If it could happen to a musician called Rodriguez then, perhaps, it could happen to the hundreds of other equally talented and modest people in this world.
Sixto Rodriguez, so named because he was the sixth child born to his mother, was a handsome, lithe, enigmatic singer/songwriter in 1970s Detroit who released two albums of haunting, alienated songs and then seemingly sank into oblivion. Except one of his albums made it to Cape Town, South Africa and got passed hand to hand where its songs were picked up by the anti-apartheid music scene as anthems of a sort for a generation.