Our seventh Travelling Symphony Movie Club selection was Searching for Sugar Man – an extraordinary documentary that uncovers one of the most unbelievable stories in 20th Century music.
The film follows the journey of two South Africans as they try to find out what happened to the most influential artist of their generation – Sixto Rodriguez.
Rodriguez, a folk singer from humble beginnings in Detroit, became a symbol for the anti-apartheid movement yet remained completely unknown anywhere else in the world.
For our Searching For Sugar Man podcast we had the privilege of speaking to producer Simon Chinn, one of the key figures in helping take the movie from director Malik Bendjelloul’s kitchen table all the way to Oscars success.
Simon gave us fantastic insights – from how a last-minute conference call decided the movie’s name, to how a special appearance from Rodriguez helped create the buzz around the film at Sundance Film Festival.
He also spoke with great eloquence about Malik Bendjelloul himself, who tragically took his own life the year after his Oscars win. Simon explained how Malik’s infectious personality and amazing creative spirit made Searching For Sugar Man special, as well as his memories from working with such a dedicated and unique mind.
We had another great interview as well, as we chatted to South African music expert Tecla Ciolfi. Tecla is the editor and curator of TexxAndTheCity.com and has also recently launched the podcast TexxTalks – she told us about Rodriguez’s ongoing cultural influence in South Africa, as well as the difficulties in being a politically-motivated artist today.
If you’d like to join our free movie club every Friday, there’s a few important places to sign up:
- Follow us on Instagram @TSMovieClub – it’s where we’re hosting the live pre and post-film shows
- Sign up to our text chat room on Discord – it’s a private chat area just for Travelling Symphony members and it’s where we’ll be during the movie
- Subscribe to our podcast on Apple, Spotify or Acast – where you’ll find our preview and companion episodes to go with each movie selection