By NUR AQIDAH AZIZI
KUALA LUMPUR: Rumours of the upcoming project to turn the tragic killing of eight-year-old Nurin Jazlin Jazimin into a feature film have sparked outrage within the local fi lm fraternity.
Criticising the movie as distasteful, industry players said it would only fuel public anger and cause distress among Nurin’s family members.
Film Producers Association Malaysia president Ahmad Puad Onah said the idea is insensitive and reeked of opportunism.
“This isn’t the fi rst such tragedy of its kind. Why didn’t the producer come up with the idea before this, unless of course, they simply wanted to capitalise on the sensationalism of the case,” he said.
He added there was no need for the producers to declare that the film would be based on Nurin’s case.
“There are other ways to do it, such as fictionalising the events. Although our film industry practises a free market approach, responsible industry players should know the limits.
“If the producer is prepared to face a public outcry, then go ahead, by all means,” he said. Producer David Teo echoed Puad’s views, saying that filmmaking is not only about profit, but also social responsibility.
“How can anyone have the heart to put the family through the horror? I think whoever wants to do this must be insane,” he said.
Teo said it could also give foreigners a negative perception of the country’s image as a safe holiday destination.
“Even if they have the family’s consent, I object to the idea of the film. It’s heartless,” he said.
Actor/director/producer Afdlin Shauki said the only way the movie could be accepted is if it was nonprofit oriented.
“If it is solely for commercial gain instead of education, I’m against it. A sensitive case like this shouldn’t be spun into a commercial product,” he said.
Afdlin, who was deeply affected by the tragedy, advised the producer to think the matter over before proceeding.
The movie, it is claimed, would depict events which took place following the girl’s disappearance at the Setapak night market leading up to the discovery of her battered body stuffed in a bag in Petaling Jaya Utama. Actors Rosyam Nor and Sheila Rusly, whose names were mentioned as the possible leads to play Nurin’s parents, were surprised with the news. Rosyam said he would have to consider it.
A father to five girls, he said he would never undertake a project which would cause anyone grief.
“I think catching her assailant is more important. Instead of talking about her movie, we should instead perform solat hajat and pray for the murderer’s swift capture and punishment,” he said.
Sheila, however, chose to look at it positively and believed that if she took on the role, she could play a part in helping to fi ght crime.
“As a mother, I fear for the safety of my children and wonder what I can do to help. If the movie can help us become more alert and raise awareness, there is no harm, provided the intention is noble,” she said.
Sheila believes it to be rumours as she has yet to receive any offer. Nurin’s body was found stuffed into a sports bag under the staircase of a shoplot in Petaling Jaya Utama on Sept 17.
She went missing after visiting a night market near her home on Aug 20. Her killer is still at large.
- The Malay Mail