Hollywood takes on the 1MDB scandal
By Zan Azlee
Heard the latest Hollywood news? It seems that a documentary about the link between the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, that Leonardo DiCaprio movie, and the 1MDB scandal is going to be made.
It was a box office hit and nominated for five Oscars. Produced by Red Granite Pictures, one of its partners, Riza Aziz, is the stepson of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
And Najib, of course, is linked to the billion dollar 1MDB sovereign wealth fund corruption scandal that is now known throughout the whole world.
The documentary, ‘The Master and his Wolf’, is being produced by Oscar-nominated Mike Lerner through his production company Roast Beef Productions.
Apparently, it has already finished filming in Malaysia and is now pursuing other interesting characters around the world, including party animal Jho Low.
Lerner hopes to film in Singapore, the USA, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi, basically all the places where investigations on 1MDB’s finances have been opened.
This is very interesting because we all know how much attention Hollywood garners from the world. People know more about movies than they do about actual news and current affairs.
Look at how Joshua Oppenheimer’s series of films on the Indonesian massacre in the 1960s brought awareness and attention to the issue?
His two Oscar-nominated films, ‘The Act of Killing’ and ‘The Look of Silence’, brought so much attention to the genocide that it has changed Indonesia’s political and social landscape.
So it would definitely be interesting to see what this documentary will do to Malaysia and her politics. But that would actually beg the question if awareness is the issue?
The genocide that happened in Indonesia in the 1960s was so long forgotten by most of Indonesia and the world before Oppenheimer released his films.
The 1MDB scandal, on the other hand, has already garnered so much attention within Malaysia and also all over the world, as can be seen in all the major international news outlets.
In Malaysia, journalists and news organisations who have pursued the issue have been intimidated by the authorities (some being put in jail, and organisations being closed down).
Najib himself (or his lawyers) has said that they are even planning to take legal action on the Wall Street Journal. Although that seems more like hot air so far.
But then again, this is Hollywood we’re talking about. And we all know how Hollywood has the world’s balls in her hands. So let’s just wait and see for when the documentary gets released.