Thu Dec 08 00:10:57 SAST 2016
Cape Flats car-chase quartet arrested

A high-speed chase through the Cape Flats ended in a gunfight after a car rammed pursuing traffic co.

"Sugar man" director Bendjelloul committed suicide

By Sapa-AP | 2014-05-15 07:49:28.0 | COMMENTS [ 1 ]

Malik Bendjelloul, the Swedish director of the acclaimed "Searching for Sugar Man" documentary, 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.

Bendjelloul's brother Johar Bendjelloul confirmed to The Associated Press that his 36-year-old younger brother committed suicide Tuesday. He told daily 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.

Police would not comment on the cause of death but said they suspected no foul play.

Bendjelloul rose to international fame in 2013 when his debut feature film, "Searching for Sugar Man," won an Oscar for best documentary. The film tells the story of Detroit-based singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, who had flopped in the United States but became a superstar in apartheid-era South Africa without even knowing about it.

"He made a great film and will be missed," U.S. documentary film maker Michael Moore wrote on Twitter.

British film producer Simon Chinn, who produced "Searching for Sugar Man," said he was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of his friend's passing.

"It seems so unbelievable," Chinn told the AP over the telephone. "He had everything to live for."

Chinn said he saw Bendjelloul only 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," he said. "The idea that he is no longer is just too hard to process."

The soft-spoken Bendjelloul worked as a reporter for Sweden's public broadcaster SVT before resigning to backpack around the world. He got the idea for "Searching for Sugar Man" during one of his trips, but it would take him more than four years to complete the film.

He reached out to Chinn when the film was 90 percent finished, but his main sponsor had withdrawn support, saying the film was lousy.

"He just kind of came in with his bounce of enthusiasm and charm and smiling eyes and I was completely won over by him," Chinn recalled Wednesday.

"He had found this amazing story and was completely determined to do it justice," he said. "The fact that no one else believed in it didn't seem to deter him, he just kind of pursued it with incredible passion and tenacity that I hadn't really ever seen before in a filmmaker."

SVT's culture chief Eva Beckman said his death was incomprehensible.

"One always says it is unbelievable when a young person dies, or when anybody dies, but it is even more unbelievable with Malik," she said Wednesday. "Malik was simply such an incredibly alive person."

Beckman also praised Bendjelloul's strong storytelling skills and his willingness to experiment with new formats.

"What really set him apart from everybody else was his passion for storytelling. He was a fantastic storyteller," she said. '

"Searching for Sugar Man's" Oscar win led to a career rebirth for Rodriguez, who has been touring major venues in the U.S. and introducing American audiences to the songs he wrote four decades ago.

He was performing Tuesday night in Detroit, but his manager said he wouldn't be commenting on Bendjelloul's death.

Funeral arrangements weren't immediately known.

COMMENTS [ 1 ]

Login OR Join up TO COMMENT

Dkok

I have had friends commit suicide and I am still waiting for the day we meet again in the afterlife, man it go be a big fight with this blerry cowards. death is one of the guaruntees of life so why people feel like cashing out soonner than they should just beats me. There are ways of getting around one's trouble the first is to accept the situation one finds himself in, forget about what other might say about your fall, just accept and try to move up from there. i know at first glance evrything might look too taugh but then we were all born broke and jobless, so anyfall is just back to square one nothing more, and its becomes another chance of moving up once again. some have lost big but then being a street adult(hobo0 is still better than being a gonner.

2014-05-15 11:16:18.0 | 0 replies
X