MH370: Passing out of radar into books, movies, musical


  • Living
  • Sunday, 29 Jun 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Books, films, paintings, even a musical! The longer MH370 stays missing, the more this mystery inspires tributes that stray into the grey area of exploitation.

MH370, the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that vanished on March 8 along with its 239 passengers and crew while en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, launching a still-ongoing search that's becoming the most extensive and expensive in aviation history.

Though everyone knows about MH370 by now, we're still in the dark about its fate. In the absence of concrete answers, it's only a matter of time before an amorphous blend of speculation and fiction fills in the blanks. With so many unknown variables, the story of MH370 seems tailor-made for the wild whims of the imagination.

That is probably why, amid the height of the media coverage of the plane’s disappearance in March and April, no one could stop talking about it, often giving voice to some far-fetched theories and speculations in coffee shops, Internet forums, and CNN re-enactments using toy planes — not to mention the attention-seeking antics of so-called bomoh Ibrahim Mat Zin.

Among the millions who followed the confusing media reports and speculated about what happened was a scriptwriter who goes by the pseudonym ‘Apocalypse Nightshade’. He wrote a film script entitled Malaysia 370 and uploaded it to ‘his’ account on the Amazon Studios website – an online script market – barely a month after the incident.

A group of young film students who called themselves Masiah Initiative Production then stumbled on Nightshade’s script and decided to make it their first film project, announcing the news via their website and an email blast to more than 250 media outlets and online sites, which is how most people found out about it. 

With the tagline 'The answers are not in the black box', the crudely-designed website claims that the movie Malaysia 370 is “a work of fact and fiction” and “explores the few known facts of the mysterious flight and ties them together with actual news footage, theory, speculation and logic to create a cohesive narrative.”

'The answers are not in the black box': A screen capture of the Malaysia 370 website (above), created by the Masiah Initiative Production, a collective of young filmmakers based in the US. 

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