Plans for a film about the mosque attacks in New Zealand have been slammed.
Plans for a film that recalls New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s response to the mass killing of Muslim worshippers have been criticized for failing to focus on the victims.
According to Deadline, Australian actor Rose Byrne is poised to play Ms Ardern in the film They Are Us, which is being sold to worldwide buyers by New York-based FilmNation Entertainment.
The film would be set in the days following the 2019 mosque attacks in Christchurch, in which 51 people were killed.
The film will explore Ms Ardern’s response to the assaults and how people rallied behind her message of compassion and solidarity, as well as her successful call to ban the most lethal types of semi-automatic guns, according to Deadline.
Ms Ardern’s statements in a historic address shortly after the assaults inspired the film’s title. The prime minister’s response was lauded around the world.
However, many in New Zealand are concerned about the film’s plans.
Hussein Al-Umari, Aya Al-older Umari’s brother, was killed in the attacks, and she simply replied on Twitter, “Yeah nah,” a New Zealand word that means “No.”
The Muslim Association of Canterbury’s Abdigani Ali said the community recognized the need to tell the tale of the assaults, “but we’d want to make sure it’s done in an acceptable, authentic, and sensitive manner.”
Tina Ngata, an author and activist, was more forthright, writing that the massacre of Muslims should not be the setting for a film celebrating “white lady strength.” GET ON WITH IT.”
In a brief statement, Ms Ardern’s office stated that the prime minister and her government have no involvement with the film.
Requests for feedback from Byrne’s reps and FilmNation were not immediately returned. The project will be filmed in New Zealand, according to the article, but no date has been set.
Andrew Niccol, a New Zealander, will write and direct the film, according to Deadline.
Niccol is known for writing and directing Gattaca and writing The Terminal and The Truman Show, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.
Byrne is a fictional character. (This is a brief piece.)