‘Searching For Sugar Man’ Director Malik Bendjelloul’s Death A Suicide, Says Brother

Obviously, healthy 36-year-olds don’t usually just die unexpectedly, so when police said they didn’t suspect foul play in the death of Oscar-winning Searching For Sugar Man director Malik Bendjelloul [right], that left a limited amount of explanations. Now, Malik’s brother has said the cause of death was suicide.

Johar Bendjelloul told the Aftonbladet newspaper in Sweden. “I can confim that it was suicide and that he had been depressed for a short period of time,” he said, adding: “Life is not always so easy… I don’t know how to handle it.”

Bendjelloul, a Swede with an Algerian father, directed Searching for Sugar Man following a spell as a reporter for Swedish TV network SVT.

“Malik was a fantastic person,” Rodriguez told Swedish newspaper Expressen. “He was both unique and very friendly.” The film’s producer Simon Chinn [above, left] meanwhile told the Associated Press: “I saw him two weeks ago in London. He was so full of life, hope and optimism and happiness, and looking forward to the future and future collaborations. We were talking about working together and talking about specific ideas, so the idea that he is no longer is just too hard to process.” [TheGuardian]

It’s incredible to me that a guy who believed in what he was doing so strongly that he finished filming his movie on an iPhone when his financial backers threatened to back out, and ended up having his decision validated with his industry’s highest honor, was still so depressed that he killed himself. And by incredible, I mean incredibly depressing. Sometimes I wonder why *I* get up in the morning – I always assumed that if you’re a guy like this, it’s an easy question to answer. “Because I’m an important filmmaker and the world needs me!” For a lot of us, I think the answer is more like “I dunno, coffee?”

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