A New Zealand Muslim group wants to halt a controversial film about the Christchurch mosque shootings they say ‘whitewashes’ the tragedy


Since the film, titled “They Are Us,” was announced last week, critics have denounced it for dramatizing the traumatic occasions of the taking pictures, which occurred simply over two years in the past, and for not centering the experiences of Muslim residents of Christchurch in its retelling.
Producer Philippa Campbell departed the film this month after listening to the “concerns raised over recent days,” she mentioned in a assertion obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. She wrote that she now agrees that the occasions of the shootings are “too raw for film at this time” and he or she does “not wish to be involved with a project that is causing such distress.”

In the film, Rose Byrne is ready to star as Ardern, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed final week. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the film is described as an “inspirational story about the young leader’s response to the tragic events,” positioning the prime minister as the film’s protagonist.

“‘They Are Us’ is not so much about the attack but the response to the attack … how an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support,” Andrew Niccol, the film’s author and director mentioned in a assertion to the Hollywood Reporter.

The deal with Ardern is partly what impressed the National Islamic Youth Association of New Zealand to begin a petition to halt manufacturing of the film.

Sondos Qur’aan, co-chair of the affiliation, advised CNN affiliate Radio New Zealand (RNZ) that any film based mostly on the shootings ought to deal with the Muslim individuals who skilled the violence and trauma firsthand.

“Any story that is to be told about March 15 should be told through the lens of the Muslim community and capture the lived experiences of racism, discrimination and Islamophobia that Muslims face globally,” Qur’aan advised RNZ in an interview on Monday.

So far, greater than 63,000 folks have signed the petition, which calls on Ardern to condemn the film and on New Zealanders in the film trade to boycott the manufacturing, amongst its requests. The affiliation wrote in the petition that the film threatens to “white-wash the horrific violence perpetrated against Muslim communities.”

Ardern affirmed in a assertion that she was not concerned with the film.

“There are plenty of stories from March 15 that could be told, but I don’t consider mine to be one of them,” she mentioned in the assertion, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.

Christchurch attack report says New Zealand police failed to enforce checks on firearm licenses
Ardern’s response to the mass shootings was internationally praised at the time. Her stoicism and refusal to acknowledge the shooter, in addition to her go to to victims and households sporting a hijab and speedy passage of gun reforms, led one CNN article to call her the “face of the tragedy.” She was even thought of a favorite to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 (Ethopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed Ali won that yr).
But Muslim residents of New Zealand told CNN one year after the shooting that pervasive Islamophobia remained a concern, and they typically felt unsafe of their nation even after Ardern condemned racism and enacted reforms.

CNN reached out for remark to reps for Byrne, Niccol and Campbell, Ardern’s workplace, manufacturing firm FilmNation and National Islamic Youth Association and is ready to hear again.



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