After the death of Malik Bendjelloul, who directed the documentary “Searching for Sugarman,” a THR writer heads to Sweden to talk to his friends, who reveal the perfectionist’s quirks, and open up about his fear, doubt and their own surprise.

It was just the type of place that the young man, a 36-year-old Swedish journalist and Oscar-winning film director named Malik Bendjelloul, might have found intriguing. The Stockholm metro system is reputed to be the largest display of public art anywhere in the world — 68.3 miles of paintings, mosaics, installations and sculptures. The station was an artistic, humane endeavor, an urban fairy-tale landscape that might have piqued his curiosity and fueled his imagination. But on that day, as the train neared, the picturesque station was transformed into a devastating scene of the director’s final moments. With a crowd of Tuesday-afternoon commuters looking on from benches or standing against walls, Bendjelloul flung himself into the path of an oncoming train.