New Zealand: Planned Movie Depicting PM Jacinda Ardern's Response To Christchurch Mosque Attacks Sparks Outrage Among Muslim Community

by Swarajya Staff - Jun 14, 2021 07:42 AM
New Zealand: Planned Movie Depicting PM Jacinda Ardern's Response To Christchurch Mosque 
Attacks Sparks Outrage Among Muslim CommunityNew Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern (Pic Via Twitter)
Snapshot
  • A planned movie on the much lauded response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks has sparked outrage among members of Muslim community in the country

    Muslim community in New Zealand feels that the film's focus on white voices "will continue to white-wash the horrific violence perpetrated against Muslim communities". Muslim community leaders said the proposed film “sidelines the victims and survivors and instead centres the response of a white woman”.

A recent announcement by US-based FilmNation Entertainment that it was producing film titled 'They Are Us' based on the much lauded response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to the 2019 Christchurch mosque attacks has sparked outrage in the country, Sky News reported.

The film is set to be made in New Zealand and directed by New Zealand filmmaker Andrew Niccol. Australian actress Rose Byrne will be playing the role of PM Ardern.

On Mar 15, 2019, Brenton Tarrant, a white supremacist gunman, went on shooting spree at two mosques during Friday prayers, killing 51 and seriously injuring another 40. He was jailed for life without parole last August for the 51 murders, 40 attempted murders and a charge of terrorism.

PM Ardern won considerable acclaim for her response to the worst massacre in New Zealand history. PM Ardern's gesture of wearing a Islamic style burkha when she went to meet mourners won her appreciation from Muslim community.

The title of the planned movie is inspired is from line from one of Jacinda Ardern's speeches in the aftermath of the attack when she pledged to support the Muslim community and strengthen gun laws in the country to prevent repeat of such terror incidents.

The planned film has incurred the wrath of New Zealand Muslims, with community leaders criticising the project for pushing a “white saviour” narrative.

A petition from the National Islamic Youth Association calling for the production to be shut down has gathered more than 58,000 signatures.

The petitioners said that the film's focus on white voices "will continue to white-wash the horrific violence perpetrated against Muslim communities".

Muslim community leaders said the proposed film “sidelines the victims and survivors and instead centres the response of a white woman”.

"There are plenty of stories from 15 March that could be told, but I don't consider mine to be one of them."

She also confirmed she "had nothing to do with the film in any form and wasn't consulted on it".

PM Ardern also criticised the planned movie.

PM Ardern told news website Stuff: "While it's for the community to speak for themselves, it's my view 15 March remains very raw for New Zealand.

"There are plenty of stories from 15 March that could be told, but I don't consider mine to be one of them." she added

She also confirmed she "had nothing to do with the film in any form and wasn't consulted on it".

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