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'Searching for Sugar Man' director Malik Bendjelloul committed suicide, brother says

By Daniel S Levine,

The brother of Swedish filmmaker Malik Bendjelloul told a local newspaper that the Searching for Sugar Man director committed suicide. Bendjelloul was just 36-years-old.

Bendjelloul’s death was confirmed Tuesday, but was a complete mystery for several hours, leaving Hollywood stunned. Benjelloul’s documentary on Sixto Rodriguez won international acclaim last year and won the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature in March.

However, his brother, Johar, confirmed to the Swedish daily Aftonbladet that his brother committed suicide, reports The Associated Press. Johar also sent a text message to Reuters.

“Life is not always simple,” Johar reportedly told the Swedish paper. “I don't know how to handle it. I don't know.” He explained that his brother had been dealing with depression recently.

Sony Pictures Classics, which distributed Sugar Man, was saddened by the loss of an amazing talent. “Much like Rodriguez himself, Malik was a genuine person who chased the world for stories to tell,” the company said. “He didn't chase fame, fortune or awards, although those accolades still found him as many others recognized his storytelling.”

“It seems so unbelievable,” the film’s producer, Simon Chinn, told the AP. He said that he saw Benjelloul just two weeks ago in London and he seemed happy. “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,” Chinn added.

 
 

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