Directed by Malik Bendjelloul
86 min. | 2012 | Sweden/UK/USA
** Post film Q+A with Dan Nailen
Dan Nailen has written about arts and entertainment in Utah for 15 years, as a reporter and columnist at The Salt Lake Tribune, arts editor at Salt Lake Magazine and managing editor at Salt Lake City Weekly. He’s covered the Sundance Film Festival for the past 15 years for various outlets, and can be heard every Friday morning on KUER 90.1 FM, Salt Lake City’s flagship NPR station, as well as hosting SLUG magazine’s weekly “Soundwaves from the Underground” podcast.
In the late ‘60s, a musician was discovered in a Detroit bar by two celebrated producers who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They recorded an album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity amid rumors of a gruesome on-stage suicide. But a bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa, and over the next two decades it became a phenomenon. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Their investigation led them to a story more extraordinary than any of the existing myths about the artist known as Rodriguez.
Winner: Best Documentary Feature – 2013 Academy Awards; Winner: Audience Award, World Cinema Documentary – 2013 Sundance Film Festival; Winner: Special Jury Prize – 2013 Sundance Film Festival; Winner: 24 Other Awards