May 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm #153759
Oscar-Winning ‘Searching For Sugar Man’ Director Dead at 36
“Searching for Sugar Man” director Malik Bendjelloul
Nigel M. Smith
The Academy Award-winning filmmaker of “Searching For Sugar Man,”
Malik Bendjelloul, was found dead today in Stockholm, according to
police reports. Bendjelloul, 36, won the Academy for Best Documentary
last year for the film, about his search for the musician Sixto Diaz
Rodriguez. Bendjelloul directed, produced, edited and co-wrote the film,
which initially premiered at Sundance in 2012 where it won the Audience
Award. The film, which was the director’s first, also won awards for
Best Documentary from the DGA, PGA, WGA, BAFTA, NBR and other festivals.
“Searching for Sugar Man”
In his review of the film at Sundance, Eric Kohn wrote, “The director makes a convincing case for Rodriguez as a phantom rock
star, no less valid in its iconoclastic value than Bob Dylan, but never
validated by the marketplace.”
Bendjelloul recently told The New York Times
about how anonymous the musician was before the film first screened at
Sundance. “Many people didn’t know when the film started who he was at
all. They even thought that he was dead for the first half-hour. So
seeing him in the flesh an hour later was powerful. That’s what you can
do with documentaries.”
spokeswoman Pia Glenvik said the Swedish filmmaker died in Stockholm
late Tuesday, but didn’t specify the cause of death except to say there
was no crime suspected, according to the Associated Press.May 13, 2014 at 3:44 pm #153761
Tragic loss to the film world. So gifted, so young.
RIPMay 13, 2014 at 3:51 pm #153762
What.May 13, 2014 at 3:55 pm #153763
He went from Searching for Sugar Man, to Searching for Jesus Man.
RIP Malik!May 13, 2014 at 4:14 pm #153764
It is curious that this was the only film project he was ever involved in of any sort. No indications that he had anything to follow it up ( he finished the project almost 3 years ago). Usually when someone wins an Oscar at this level, the doors open for multiple projects and lots of activity. For whatever reason, it didn’t seem to happen in his case.May 14, 2014 at 7:42 am #153765
Cause of death now reported:
for Sugar Man” director commits
suicide aged 36
by Niklas Pollard and Anna Ringstrom, REUTERS
STOCKHOLM Wed May 14, 2014 2:11pm BST
(Reuters)—Swedish film director Malik Bendjelloul, whose
documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” won an Oscar last year, has
killed himself, his family said, triggering tributes for a man who “chased
the world for stories to tell”.
Police said Bendjelloul, who was 36, had died late on
Tuesday in the Stockholm area. His brother later confirmed local media reports
that he had committed suicide.
“I can confirm my brother has taken his own life,”
Johar Bendjelloul said in a text message to Reuters.
“Searching for Sugar Man”, structured like a
mystery, followed two South African journalists trying to track down American
singer Sixto Rodriguez after his disappearance from the public scene.
Rodriguez had failed to achieve fame in the United States
but, unbeknownst to him, had become a popular and influential folk icon in
“Searching for Sugar Man” swept major awards
from the U.S. directors, producers and writers guilds, and won audience and
special jury awards at the Sundance Film Festival.
It also helped make Rodriguez, now aged 71, better known
in the United States and led to a revival of his musical career.
Sony Pictures Classics, the film’s distributor, led the
tributes to Bendjelloul on Wednesday.
“Much like Rodriguez himself, Malik was a genuine
person who chased the world for stories to tell,” it said in a statement.
“He didn’t chase fame, fortune, or awards, although
those accolades still found him as many others recognized his
storytelling,” the statement said.
Fellow directors mourned his passing.
“He made a great film & will be missed,”
U.S. filmmaker Michael Moore said on Twitter.
His former employer, Swedish public service broadcaster
SVT, said it would run a memorial programme about Bendjelloul on Wednesday
Nicholas Wenno, a reporter at Sweden’s daily Dagens
Nyheter, described the filmmaker as “a whimsical genius who saw the world
in his own way, who seemed fuelled by atomic energy”.
“We are many that will mourn you,” Wenno added.
Bendjelloul was born in the town of Ystad near Malmo in
southern Sweden, according to film database IMDB.com.
He also directed television documentaries about rock
singers Elton John, Rod Stewart, and Bjork and German electronic music pioneers
Kraftwerk, the Swedish Film Institute said.
reporting by Anna Ringstrom and by Eric Kelsey in Los Angeles, Editing by
May 14, 2014 at 8:44 am #153766
RIP. I find it so selfish and cowardly.May 14, 2014 at 8:50 am #153767
Sorry, but I find judgmental statements like that extremely offensive.
You don’t know the circumstances and factors involved, do you?May 14, 2014 at 9:39 am #153768
I’m not ignorant of the fact that it’s a very touchy subject and a controversial stance. And your kind of response is most expected. I’ve personally no interest in a back and forth here on this matter, but I will say that no one takes their life for alien (to humanity) reasons. Humanity is cognizant of the spectrum of emotions/states, certainly of the negative class that motivate such acts; sad, unloved, worthless, guilt-ridden, decieved, apathetic, numb, emptiness, etc; nothing alien. We’re not snowflakes. Personal details aren’t needed to take such a stance on the act itself. It’s my opinion that it is, apart from obviously a painful ordeal, a selfish (when one leaves family/friends) and cowardly act, and I really feel for those they leave behind (if so), for at the very least having to carry a heavy, painful burden of mixed bag, likely conflicting emotions and thoughts. And I find it appalling that there people that condone or excuse such an act. I’m also not sure why there’s tipically no activation-link in the brain between taking one’s own life and taking another person’s life. That’s all.May 14, 2014 at 9:44 am #153769
I was part of group counseling when a close friend of mine nearly succeeded in killing himself. One of the major takeaways was that telling someone who is thinking of it that it is cowardly and will hurt others often encourages, not discourages, suicide (because A) it usually comes from low self-esteem and B) it is often meant to hurt people. Alternatively, since much suicide is prevented out of fear, some who succeed feel that they have conquered cowardice, and raising that as an issue is very counterproductive.
I also had reinforced the complicated nature of the action and one should resist the impulse to make judgments.
But most of all, the sense I got is the vast number of reasons, some occassionally even logical, that go into the action. Often the worst thing is the lack of understanding after the fact.
And since none of us knows anything about the circumstances, I do think it is wrong to make sweeping statements out of sheer ignorance and insensitivity.May 14, 2014 at 9:53 am #153770
“sheer ignorance and insensitivity.” I can just as easily label you that for immedaitely reaching such a conclusion about me without knowing anything about me, my field of study, or if i’ve had any experience with it/victims. Spare me a 101 lecture. No, suicide isn’t often merely to hurt people, the aching or apathetic/numb self is usually the prime drive/motivator. You disagree with my stance, I got that. Cheers.
May 14, 2014 at 10:31 am #153771
The statement was made in general, as it was meant to read, not specifically about you.
Feel free to piss on his grave. That’s your right.May 14, 2014 at 10:36 am #153772
Gasp, how crass. I am a lady.
Eta; ftr, (in the case the contrary is assumed) I’m not judging the man himself or any particular person (that would be judging anyone and everyone who’s ever felt negative emotions, myself included), but denounce the act itself -killing oneself-, regardless of who commits it. I don’t condone the act of murder, I similarly don’t condone self-execution. As I stated, I’ve utmost sympathy for and empathize with anyone in pain (seems ludicrous to evidently need to emphasize that)May 14, 2014 at 10:37 am #153773
I cant and wont judge the man. It was his life. However, I’d like to know what kind of help he was seeking (strongly suspect), if he was at all and track that history.
It’ll tell me what I want to know.
Again, RIP. And thank you. I loved Searching for Sugar Man. He’s left us with a brief and brilliant legacy.
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