Obituary: Malik Bendjelloul, director of Searching for Sugar Man

Malin Rising
Tuesday 20 May 2014 17:00
(Picture: AFP)
#### Malik Bendjelloul: 14 September 1977 - 13 May 2014

Malik Bendjelloul was a film-maker who shot to Hollywood stardom overnight with the Oscar-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man.

The story of how obscure singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez became a cult hero in apartheid-era South Africa without knowing it won the Academy award for best documentary last year.

The softly spoken, unassuming Bendjelloul had 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 his first film during a trip to Cape Town, but it would take him more than four years to complete.

More: A conversation with Malik Bendjelloul (Dec 2012)

The director escaped the Hollywood hype after the Oscars to go on safari and had been working on a film about a man who could communicate with elephants.

The Oscar win led to another career rebirth for Rodriguez, who has been touring the US and introducing American audiences to the songs he wrote four decades ago.

Bendjelloul's brother said that Malik had been suffering from depression and had taken his own life.