New Zealand Muslims are objecting to a film about the 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings in which a gunman killed 51 people, saying the attack was still too raw for grieving families and their community.
The film, titled They Are Us, will focus on the response by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to the attacks on two mosques by a white supremacist on March 15, 2019, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with Australian actress Rose Byrne set to play Ardern in the film. New Zealander Andrew Niccol would write and direct it.
The title is drawn from Ardern’s words on that day. The 40-year-old leader’s compassionate response to the attack united her shocked country and was praised globally. However, reports about the film have drawn considerable criticism online, with #TheyAreUsShutDown trending on Twitter in New Zealand.
“There are still many sensitivities around the tragic events,” Abdigani Ali, spokesman for the Muslim Association of Canterbury said in a statement.
“Although recognition of our prime minister for her response to attacks is well deserved, we question the timing and whether a movie is appropriate right now? The terrorist attack is still raw for our community.”