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Entertainment Plans for movie on New Zealand mosque attacks draw criticism

10:15  11 june  2021
10:15  11 june  2021 Source:   ap.org

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday for not focusing on the victims of the attacks.

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during an interviewed in her office at the parliament in Wellington, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Sam James, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2020, file photo, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during an interviewed in her office at the parliament in Wellington, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Sam James, File) FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, Rose Byrne attends the world premiere of © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, Rose Byrne attends the world premiere of "The Irishman" at Alice Tully Hall during the opening night of the 57th New York Film Festival in New York. Hollywood news outlet Deadline reported that Byrne was set to play New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the movie “They Are Us,” which was being shopped by New York-based FilmNation Entertainment to international buyers. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Hollywood news outlet Deadline reported that Australian actor Rose Byrne was set to play Ardern in the movie “They Are Us,” which was being shopped by New York-based FilmNation Entertainment to international buyers.

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FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2014, file photo, director Andrew Niccol poses for portraits during the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Hollywood news outlet Deadline reported that Niccol would write and direct the movie “They Are Us,” which was being shopped by New York-based FilmNation Entertainment to international buyers. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Sept. 4, 2014, file photo, director Andrew Niccol poses for portraits during the 71st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy. Hollywood news outlet Deadline reported that Niccol would write and direct the movie “They Are Us,” which was being shopped by New York-based FilmNation Entertainment to international buyers. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis, File)

The movie would be set in the days after the 2019 attacks in which 51 people were killed at two Christchurch mosques.

Deadline said the movie would follow Ardern's response to the attacks and how people rallied behind her message of compassion and unity, and her successful call to ban the deadliest types of semiautomatic weapons.

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The title of the movie comes from the words Ardern spoke in a landmark address soon after the attacks. At the time, Ardern was praised around the world for her response.

But many in New Zealand are raising concerns about the movie plans.

Aya Al-Umari, whose older brother Hussein was killed in the attacks, wrote on Twitter simply “Yeah nah,” a New Zealand phrase meaning “No.”

Abdigani Ali, a spokesperson for the Muslim Association of Canterbury, said the community recognized the story of the attacks needed to be told “but we would want to ensure that it’s done in an appropriate, authentic, and sensitive matter.”

Tina Ngata, an author and advocate, was more blunt, tweeting that the slaughter of Muslims should not be the backdrop for a film about "white woman strength. COME ON.”

FILE - In this March 15, 2019, file photo, ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 15, 2019, file photo, ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Ardern’s office said in a brief statement that the prime minister and her government have no involvement with the movie.

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Deadline reported that New Zealander Andrew Niccol would write and direct the project and that the script was developed in consultation with several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy.

FILE - In this March 15, 2019, file photo, police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 15, 2019, file photo, police attempt to clear people from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Tentative plans for a movie that recounts the response of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to a gunman's slaughter of Muslim worshippers drew criticism in New Zealand on Friday, June 11, 2021 for not focusing on the victims of the attacks. (AP Photo/Mark Baker, File)

Niccol said the film wasn't so much about the attacks but more the response.

“The film addresses our common humanity, which is why I think it will speak to people around the world," Niccol told Deadline. "It is an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.”

Byrne's agents and FilmNation did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The report said the project would be filmed in New Zealand but did not say when.

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 known for roles in “Spy” and “Bridesmaids.”

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Fatouma was at home with her children in the town of Bambari when the firing began, one afternoon in the middle of February.Terrified, she gathered them up and fled to the nearby mosque, thinking it would be a safe refuge in the Central African Republic (CAR) market town.

usr: 1
This is interesting!