The Daily Telegraph

Mosque attack film should focus on Muslims not me, says Ardern

- By Our Foreign Staff

JACINDA ARDERN, New Zealand’s prime minister, insisted the country’s Muslim community should be the focus of any film about the Christchur­ch mosque attacks after some people raised objections to a movie focusing on her response to the atrocity.

A film called They Are Us is being planned about a white supremacis­t’s attacks on two mosques on March 15 2019, in which 51 people were killed, The Hollywood Reporter said last week.

The magazine described the film as an “inspiratio­nal story” about Ms Ardern’s response to the violence.

Ms Ardern’s office said last week that she and the government had no involvemen­t with the film. Asked about it at a news conference yesterday, she said the Muslim community should be at the centre of any film about the shootings, not her. “This is a [raw] event for New Zealand and [more] so for the community that experience­d it,” Ms Ardern said.

“I agree that there are stories that at some point should be told from March 15. But they are the stories from our Muslim community so they need to be at the centre of that. I don’t consider mine to be one of the stories that needs to be told,” she said.

She said, however, it was not for her to say whether a project should go ahead or not.

However, the movie’s producer has since pulled out of the enterprise amid mounting criticism.

Philippa Campbell apologised for her involvemen­t and said she had not known the hurt the film would cause, saying she did “not wish to be involved with a project [causing] such distress.”

The film’s title is drawn from Ms Ardern’s words on the day of the shootings. The 40-year-old leader’s compassion­ate response united her shocked country and was praised globally.

‘I agree that there are stories that should be told. But they are the stories from our Muslim community’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom