Malik Bendjelloul holds his Oscar at the 2013 Vanity Fair party.
Malik Bendjelloul, whose moving re-discovery of musician Rodriguez Searching for Sugar Man won the Oscar for best documentary in 2013, has died. He was 36.
Bendjelloul died late Tuesday in Stockholm, the Associated Press reported, citing a Swedish police spokeswoman who did not give a cause. Foul play was not suspected, however.
Searching for Sugar Man followed two South African men who set out to discover what happened to the mysterious American ‘70s folk-rocker Sixto Rodriguez. He was hugely popular through the pre-internet decades in South Africa, where stories of his onstage suicide became apocryphal; meanwhile, the real Rodriguez had been toiling in obscurity for years as a Detroit construction worker.
Bendjelloul heard about their search for — and eventual discovery of — the man who still considered himself an artist and poet. The project led to a reinvigoration of Rodriguez’ career, including a sold-out concert in South Africa that served as the climax of the film.
Bendjelloul grew up in Sweden, where he was a television actor and student of media.