South Africa 2008 – 81 minutes
Director/editor/Script: Aryan Kaganof
Photography: Eran Tahor
Music: Michael Blake
sound design: warrick sony
sound recordist: nico louw
Cast: Leigh Graves, Deja Bernhardt, Aryan Kaganof, Bill Curry, John Matshikiza, Samantha Rocca,Jerry Mofokeng, Norman Maake
Johannesburg – an evil, ugly city on Christmas Eve. This is the turf of the lonely and the damned and no more damned can they be than Sugar man (Kaganof) cruising the streets in his Valiant ’66, continually on his cell phone, peddling his girls, white and Asian, to wealthy black punters. This tongue in cheek inversion of the apartheid-years scenario of Afrikaans business men popping off to the “homelands” to sample black girls is delivered with ironic force. From hotel to hotel to palatial apartment, sugar man and his girls journey like Joseph and Mary looking for a manger. The process of the night will awaken something in Sugar man that will be born on Christmas Day, witnessed by no Wise Men nor sheep and cows but witnessed instead, by those who, like him, were lost.
Strangely romantic, consciously transgressive and aesthetically audacious – shot on a battery of cell phones – the film is in addition a homage to Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville. A checkered production history, plagued by disagreements between director and producer, almost accepted for Cannes but rejected after Kaganof refused to institute alterations insisted on by the Cannes selectors, the film is destined to share the same floor as Citizen Kane and El Topo in the great Cinematheque Hotel of the Akashic Records.