Malik Bendjelloul died in Stockholm late Tuesday, but details about the cause of death have not been revealed

By Associated Press
May 14, 2014 09:30 AM
Credit: Getty

Malik Bendjelloul, the acclaimed Swedish film director behind the Oscar-winning music documentary Searching for Sugar Man, has died. He was 36.

Police spokeswoman Pia Glenvik told the Associated Press Bendjelloul died in Stockholm late Tuesday, and said no crime is suspected in relation to the death.

Bendjelloul’s older brother, Johar Bendjelloul, confirmed to the Associated Press that Malik committed suicide Tuesday. Johar told the daily newspaper Aftonbladet that his brother had struggled with depression for a short period.

“Life is not always simple,” Johar Bendjelloul was quoted as saying, adding that receiving the message that his brother had committed suicide was the worst thing he had ever experienced.

“I don’t know how to handle it. I don’t know,” he said.

The director was widely known for his enthusiasm, kindness and high spirits – so the news Wednesday that he had taken his own life shocked colleagues around the world.

Searching for Sugar Man detailed the life and career of American singer Sixto Rodriguez, and it won the Oscar for best documentary in 2013.

Bendjelloul grew up in central and southern Sweden and acted in Swedish TV series Ebba and Didrik as a child during the 1990s. He studied journalism and media production at the Linnaeus University of Kalmar in southern Sweden and later worked as a reporter for Swedish public broadcaster SVT.

He resigned from that job to travel the world, and he got the idea for Searching for Sugar Man during one of his trips.