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Film on Christchurch mosque attack postponed after backlash from Muslim community

  • Published at 03:19 pm July 26th, 2021
Rose Byrne is set to play New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern| Collected

The director said that filming would resume after consulting with New Zealand's Muslim community who have raised concerns about the film’s depiction of the horrific 2019 terrorist attack

Andrew Niccol's film “They are US” stopped pre-production after the portrayal of the Muslim community had been deemed ‘insensitive.’ The controversy began after an early draft of the script was leaked to the public. 

Starring Rose Byrne as New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern, the film revolves around two consecutive mass shootings at the Christchurch mosque that took place during the Friday Prayer on March 15, 2019.

The director said that filming would resume after consulting with New Zealand's Muslim community who have raised concerns about the film’s retelling of the horrific 2019 terrorist attack.

Also Read - NZ votes to amend gun laws after Christchurch attack

“I am deeply saddened by the pain caused to the families of the victims, due to the wrongful distribution of our draft script for ‘They Are Us.’ The script is far from final, and never intended to be shared with the affected members of the Muslim community at such an early stage.”

Andrew Niccol is best known for directing “Gattaca” and others. “Good Kill.”

“The sole purpose of the script, which was released without permission, was to gauge interest of potential financiers. It was given to them in the strictest confidence and all were informed that this was not intended to be the final version. All scenes in the script are placeholders until we have completed further consultation with the families,” he said.

After the script had been leaked in June, producer Philippa Campbell resigned from the project and the film continued to attract criticism from New Zealand's Muslim community

“We are committed to ensuring that the voices of the affected Muslim community, and the voices of the wider community, will be heard moving forward,” the director added.


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