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'This is our story' - Daughter of mosque attacks victim says film on Ardern is hurtful to Muslims

"This is our story and it's still very raw," the daughter of a man killed in the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch says as she joins thousands of people fighting to get a film on the horrific events shut down.

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Sara Qasem, whose father was killed in the March 15 terrorist attacks, slammed the new Hollywood film as "dismissing and very, very hurtful". Source: Breakfast

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film, called They Are Us, tells the story of how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern - set to be played by Australian actress Rose Byrne - rallied the nation with a message of compassion and unity following the attacks.

However, the concept was immediately hit with criticism for casting Ardern as the hero.

Sara Qasem, whose father was killed in the terrorist attacks, slammed the new Hollywood film as feeding into a "white saviour" narrative.

She said it was "dismissing and very, very hurtful" to the Muslim community impacted by the attacks.

Fifty-one Muslims were killed while they prayed at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre on March 15, 2019. Many more were seriously injured.

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Guled Mire says They Are Us feeds into a "white saviour mentality" by focussing on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern rather than the victims. Source: 1 NEWS

Now, a petition calling for the movie to be shut down has attracted more than 55,000 signatures.

Like many of those thousands, Qasem said she was shocked at the film's focus and initially thought it was made up.

"Where was the consultation? How could somebody have done something like this and not considered the importance of our sovereignty over our story?" she asked.

Jacinda Ardern says Christchurch mosque attacks film is 'very soon and very raw'

"What we went through, as tragic and horrific as it was, has instilled us with a sense of strength that is pretty unshakable but I will say that it certainly takes a huge toll and dig at our honour and particularly with trying to uphold the idea of not reducing our loved ones to numbers - I feel like this just goes completely against that.

"The idea that someone is profitting from the trauma and the traumatic grief of my community and myself is just completely inappropriate."

While Qasem gave credit for Ardern's response to the attacks, she said making a film about her sidelines the victims.

"There are still people out there today that have physical implications from the attack, mental implications from the attack, and it just completely plays into this idea of sidelining, to be honest John, people of colour and the idea of the narrative of, I'm sorry to say, but a white saviour," she told Breakfast host John Campbell.

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Actress Rose Byrne is set to play Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the film. Source: 1 NEWS

"This is our story and it's still incredibly raw and painful."

Earlier on Breakfast this morning, Ardern said she found out about the film the day before it was announced on Friday.

She reiterated that she had no consultation and was told the day before as "a heads up".

"My view, which is a personal view, it feels very soon and very raw for New Zealand and while there are so many stories that should be told at some point I don't consider mine to be one of them. They're the community's stories, they're the families stories," she said.

Qasem agreed that it was too soon for a movie to be made about the terrorist attacks.

"It hasn't even been a year since the sentencing, not even one year, and just simply two years from the attack," she said.

Christchurch mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in August last year. The sentence is the strongest available punishment available under New Zealand law and it has never been handed down before.