Massacre: New Zealand takes stand against Christchurch film

Massacre: New Zealand takes stand against Christchurch film

“They Are Us” is now the name of the film. New Zealand screenwriter and director Andrew Nicol (“Warlord”; “Answer”) says he wanted to focus on the response to the attacks. He added: “This is not about the attack itself, but about how we overcome this unprecedented act of hate with a wave of love and support.” Australian actress Rose Byrne (“Bride Alarm”) is set to play the lead role and play New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

In that time, Ardern has established herself as a crisis manager and won much international praise for her compassionate behavior. In the days following the massacre, when the entire country was in shock, the 40-year-old repeatedly approached the country's approximately 60,000 Muslims and coined his eponymous phrase, “They are us.”

Just hours after the movie gate Hollywood Reporter When the plans were announced, there was a barrage of angry comments in the New Zealand media. “They are not us, and it is painful for us to be mere props in a Hollywood movie,” award-winning poet and journalist Mohamed Hassan said in an open letter. New Zealand Herald. Above all, he criticized the fact that the focus was not on the “devastating trauma” of Muslims: “Our voices are irrelevant. Our bodies are used in a collection designed to tell someone else's story.”

The Muslim Association of Canterbury, in which Christchurch is located, also expressed doubts: “While our Prime Minister's acknowledgment of her response to the attacks was fully deserved, we question whether or not the timing is right to release the film now,” her spokesman said. Abdjani. on . The story has to be told at some point, “but we want to make sure it happens in an appropriate, real and sensitive way.”

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Ardern herself said she was not involved in the project nor was she informed about it. She told Radio New Zealand there were many stories to be told about March 15 – “but mine is not one of them.”

A relative of one of the victims wrote a letter to actress Rose Byrne asking her to turn down the role. “This story is far from over, and the affected families suffer from it every day. Please give us time.” It's too early to talk about a Hollywood movie.

Someone has already drawn conclusions: producer Philippa Campbell has suddenly left the controversial project. In a statement, she apologized for being involved in the plans at all. “I have listened to the concerns expressed in the past few days,” she said, and realized that the wounds caused by the attacks are still too great to be made into a film. “Involved in causing a lot of suffering.”

The petition posted on change.org, which had already been signed by more than 65,000 people by Tuesday, shows how much this issue has weighed on people's minds. It read: “We, the undersigned, demand that the film ‘They Are Us’ not be produced because it marginalizes victims and survivors and instead focuses on the reaction of a white woman.” It is not appropriate for writer and director Nicole, who has not experienced racism or Islamophobia, to benefit from this story.

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