Music Documentaries – Ginger and Sixto and Their South African Connections

Two critically acclaimed rock music documentaries hit the screen in 2012, raising the profile of important musicians of years gone by – both with ties to South Africa.

Jay Bulger won the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival Grand Prize for “Beware of Mr. Baker” about the life of rock drum innovator and legend Ginger Baker.   Bulger lived at Baker’s ranch in South Africa for months, interviewing him for the movie. Check out the trailer and then watch Baker play with Nigerian musicians, a phase of Baker’s life chronicled in the movie.

Malik Bendjelloul’s “Searching for Sugar Man” won numerous awards in 2012 and is nominated for a 2013 Oscar. The documentary follows two South Africans who set out to investigate what became of Sixto Rodriguez, an obscure American folk singer from Detroit whose songs became anthemic among whites involved in South Africa’s anti-apartheid movement.

See the film trailer (you have to click through to YouTube?) then listen to the tune that inspired the movie title from Rodriguez’s first album.

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