Fall Arts Picks, Film + Radio

Searching for Sugarman

When: Wed., Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m. 2016

Next month the Charleston Music Hall screens the film Searching for Sugarman, a flick that chronicles the musical career of a Detroit-based, Mexican-American ’60s folk singer/songwriter named Rodriguez, affectionately called Sugarman. Rodriguez’s work has been described as “prophetic” for his time and reminded his following of a “Chicano Bob Dylan.” Even though Sugarman’s first album Cold Fact received rave reviews, it flopped commercially, throwing Rodriguez and his works into obscurity, for the time being. There is a mystery surrounding Rodriguez’s death; the most widely accepted theory is that Sugarman lit himself on fire onstage after delivering the lyrics, “But thanks for your time, then you can thank me for mine and after that’s said, forget it.” The legacy of Sugarman did not end there, however. His album Cold Fact became deeply connected with the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa during the 1970s and ’80s. Rodriguez’s anti-establishment lyrics resonated with the Civil Rights movements of the past, and the film Searching for Sugarman explores this notion as well as providing insight into culture and society today. —John Jarvis

Price: $10/general, $8/student

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