One – because it is a fascinating story, two because of the incredible music and three and probably most of all for the cinema geeks out there – the cinematography in this one.
Swedish-British-SouthAfrican coproduction results in a project where a Swedish cinematographer – Camilla Skagerström did marvels. Rarely do we have a documentary looking this good.
The story has been dug out by Saffa music journalists back in 1990’s. Sixto Rodriguez was a cult artist in South Africa in 1970’s. However, completely unknown in his native America. Rodriguez was more popular in Cape Town than Elvis or even the Rolling Stones. Given the political separation of South Africa from the rest of the world – the artist didn’t know this and the legend in the country of success went that he was dead.
With the development of internet, it turned out that he is not dead and he went to Africa for a tour, where the story actually unveils.
The music sounds well so many years after Rodriguez recorded his first of the two albums (1970 and 1971). Having heard only one of his songs on the radio (“I wonder”) – it stayed in my head for weeks. Such is his music’s power. It is unclear up till now as to why he got no recognition in America. But these are dry facts. A genius musician and artist whose life went differently to how it could have gone. Which is yet another reason to watch this film.
A must – and it’s nominated for the Oscar this year.