86 minutes, Sweden-U.K., 2012, Colour, D-Cinema

Right then, music lovers, you know your Dylan, your Nick Drake and all the titans of the singer-songwriter era. Now prepare to be blown away by Rodriguez, a staggeringly talented performer from Detroit who recorded two of the greatest ’70s albums you’ve never heard of.

The vintage tracks showcased in this new documentary will make you wonder where this guy has been all your life, so filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul set out to find him, discovering that this total unknown in the U.S. had caught on in a big way in South Africa, where his anti-establishment anthems struck a chord with disaffected white liberals, who bought his records in such numbers he outsold Elvis! 

The fans there insist that Rodriguez’s career ended spectacularly when he burned himself to death on stage. Could it really be true? Find out in this lovingly-assembled tribute to rock’s coolest mystery man. It’s an amazing story which proves just as life-affirming as The Buena Vista Social Club. Unmissable. (Notes by Trevor Johnston.)

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