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Christchurch post-killing film project is controversial

As reported by English-speaking news agencies and media, a film project on New Zealand’s political response to the Christchurch attacks is causing a wave of indignation in the country, against a backdrop of communitarianism.

Dedicated to the political actions carried out by the New Zealand government after the killing of the mosques in Christchurch – the event dates back to March 15, 2019, when the Australian assailant Brenton Tarrant killed 51 faithful Muslims -, the film project “They are us ”, which could be translated as“ They are us ”, has been the subject of strong criticism from certain community circles in the country.

[Personne ne devrait] seek to profit from a tragedy that has befallen our community

“The film focuses on white voices and will therefore continue to whitewash the horrific violence perpetrated against Muslim communities. […] It is not appropriate that the director [néo-zélandais] Andrew Niccol [The Truman show ou encore Lord of war], who has not experienced racism or Islamophobia, leads and enjoys a story that is not for him to tell […] It is also inappropriate that the film seems to center on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, a white woman ”, we can for example read in a petition posted on June 11 by the New Zealand Association of Islamic Youth (NIYA) .

“The National Association of Islamic Youth is calling for the production of the film to be canceled immediately. The shuhada (martyrs), their families and the entire community of victims deserve to be consulted carefully and at the heart of any project concerning the terrorist attacks of March 15. [Personne ne devrait] seek to capitalize on a tragedy that has befallen our community, ”NIYA wrote on social media. At the time of writing, the petition in question has accumulated more than 6,000 signatures.

In essence, critics of “They are us” denounce “a project that does not focus on the victims of the attacks,” as reported by the AP news agency.

“The massacre of 51 Muslim New Zealanders should not be used as the setting for a film about the strength of white women,” for example, the writer and activist Tina Ngata protested.

As a reminder, a week after the tragedy, the Prime Minister of the country decided to wear the Islamic veil in solidarity with the families of the victims, the initiative then having been the subject of intense media phenomenon on the international scene. .

Cited by the GuardianNew Zealand author and anti-racist activist Guled Mire now believes that the premises of the film “They are us” are “completely insensitive” and regrets the fact that members of the Muslim community were not consulted for the project.

“The scenario was developed in consultation with several members of mosques affected by the tragedy,” however specifies on this subject the American online media Deadline, in an article with multiple revelations on this film project. We learn in particular that part of the filming must take place in New Zealand but also that the Australian actress Rose Byrne should play the role of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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