HOLLYWOOD (WWJ) – There was a win for Detroit at the Oscars — as “Searching for Sugarman,” a documentary on a local musician — won Best Documentary.

The movie tells the nearly unbelievable story of 1970’s singer/songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, whose music gained little popularity in the U.S., but somehow made it to South Africa where it became almost an anthem for the anti-apartheid movement.

Rodriguez said he was hesitant about doing it without the director first coming to the Motor City to see for himself.

“I told him he should see Detroit in July when it’s very, very hot, and Detroit when it’s very, very (cold) in February, and he did that and I realized … that if I was gonna get involved, I better do it now,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez’s music never really caught on here, but he became a superstar in South Africa in the 70’s. The movie was made by Swedish director Malik Bendjelloul.

“There’s narrative things you need for making a good fiction film; they were all there, and it was like even too much … because as a fiction writer, if you would have written this, it wouldn’t have been believable,” Bendjelloul said.

Since the documentary’s debut, Rodriguez has done multiple tours and sold out amphitheaters in South Africa.

For more on Rodriguez, visit his official website here.

For a complete list of all the winners, click here.


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