The notorious murderess gets the radio-serial treatment. What does a girl have to do to get attention
Duration: 6.5 minutes
Language: Malay (with English subtitles)
Format: DV (Colour and B&W)
The original text was much more sober and even-handed, about the death penalty, trial by media, and the abolishment of
jury trials. It would have been composed of people reading out from press statements and also recounting some of the fantastical
rumours that spread about Maznah Ismail a.k.a. Mona Fandey. But a few hours before going into the audio studio, I ditched
the original script and wrote instead a radio serial which imagines how her failed singing career could have had a role in
the way her life turned out.
The one quote taken directly from her was "Peminat saya dah sampai!" (My fans have arrived!) spoken when she saw the
crowd waiting to catch a glimpse of her outside the court. What I noticed - what everyone noticed - about Mona was that she
really relished the spotlight. This is what turned her into a camp icon. Whether this was an act of bravado on her part or
an indication that she was living on a different mental plane than the rest of us is something we will never know.
She seemed to live on a diet of pop-culture dreams, which would have included singing contests, radio serials (with actors
obviously playing multiple roles) and movies (with atrocious subtitles), and so I incorporated all of them here.
What also struck me about Mona is that she was convicted of murdering a politician who'd had no qualms about using black
magic to maintain his hold on power, and yet she (and to a lesser extent, the two men who worked with her) was cast as the
ultimate villain. She probably knew that she was doomed from the start, which is why her decision (if it was a conscious decision)
to live it up in her final moments have an air of almost poignant bravery, a triumphant blaze that acknowledges our prurience
and hypocrisy by shoving them right back into our astonished faces.
Gore Vidal once wrote of Anais Nin: "Denied fame, she sought notoriety." Whoever or whatever Mona really was, she knew
we would miss her once she was gone. And she was right.
Writer/Director/Producer: Amir Muhammad
Voice-Overs: Farah Ashikin & Fahmi Fadzil
Post Production Sound: AddAudio Sdn Bhd.
Post-Production Support: Kino-i