PADKOS BIOSCOPE NO 1A
Be there by 11:30am when Richard Pithouse will share and discuss his analysis of the state we’re in at this time in South Africa. Richard’s a regular Padkos contributor and one of this country’s leading political thinkers. He currently teaches politics at Rhodes University in Grahamstown.
At 2pm, after a light lunch together, Richard will introduce a screening of the extraordinary documentary, Searching for Sugarman, about the phenomenon that was, and is, singer-song-writer, Sixto Rodriguez and his mysteriously powerful connection with South Africa. Searching for Sugarman has recently added an Oscar for Best Documentary to an astounding list of accolades.
To whet your appetites, we’re attaching two articles from South Africans reflecting on Searching for Sugarman. Not surprisingly, one of them is from Pithouse himself. Along with many who’ve seen the film already, Richard reckons it’s “exquisite”, remarkable”, and “moving”. In “The resurrection of Sixto Rodriguez” (first published by SACSIS, the South African Civil Society Information Service), Pithouse remarks that:
“many of the people that were drawn to Rodriguez’s music in South Africa were, amidst the austere Calvinism of apartheid, primarily attracted to its sense of a life lived more freely and with less regard for the stifling constraints of convention. But … others were radicalised by his music. And while the world has moved on since Rodriguez first offered his music from within the ferment of late 60s and early 70s some of his lyrics – like ‘Politicians using, people they’re abusing’ – don’t sound very different to some of what is said on the increasingly riotous streets of South Africa today”.
Rian Malan provides the second piece – “Discovering hippies and teen rebellion when ‘Searching for Sugar Man’”, which was published by the Mail and Guardian. For Malan too, the movie is a “magical documentary about Rodriguez’s life, death and miraculous resurrection”. Reflecting on Rodriguez’ current tour to South Africa, Malan notes that:
“The Sugar Man is 70 now and increasingly frail. When he takes the stage this weekend for the first of nine South African shows, someone will escort him into the spotlight and position him in front of the microphone; Rodriguez has glaucoma and his eyesight is failing. But the voice is still there and the songs are still immortal. A year ago, that statement would have been contentious, but now I think we can take it as read”.
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