This is the brilliant documentary about the not so legendary ‘Rodriguez’. He recorded an album in 1970 called ‘Cold Fact’ it was instantly adored by the critics and very fair comparisons were made about him to Bob Dylan. It was then roundly ignored by record buyers. Undeterred he recorded a second album which followed the same trajectory as album one. Album three was not to be as the record company decided to drop him, just before Christmas.
Meanwhile in a record store over in South Africa we have a story of a legend who has died in mysterious circumstance and a man who made it his mission to find out the truth about his unsung American hero. Rodriguez and his anti establishment attitude, easily accessible lyrics and effortless vocal style had made him an underground hit in apartheid struck South Africa. He was seen as a man who spoke for those who saw segregation as an unnecessary evil. His records had not only been banned but defaced by the authorities so that the offending material could never be played on air. Instead it took off underground, even with bootleg tapes etc. Then they heard he had shot himself, then he had burnt himself and the mystery of the man behind the shades deepened.
This documentary tells of the amazing story to find a man that had inspired a nation but who never knew about it. It features a lot of his music and some live performances, and it is just inspirational. I am going to order his records after hearing some of them in the film. This is one of those films that you will want to tell your friends about, it has that rare quality of being a true story that you feel just has to be made up, but is all the more brilliant because it isn’t. If you love music, good films or just a great heart enriching story then you will adore this great piece of history.