Culture / Film

Rose Byrne will play New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern in new film about the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks

Rose Byrne They Are Us

As avid movie lovers here at RUSSH, we're certainly victims of sticking to what we know and returning to the classics; how can we possibly resist when they're that good? And while the streams of entertainment certainly feel overcrowded right now with monthly releases from the likes of Netflix, HBO and Amazon, every once in a while we come across a film that actually holds our attention. This morning was one of those days, with the news that Rose Byrne will be portraying New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern in a new film, They Are Us.

Created by New Zealand-born screenwriter and filmmaker, Andrew Niccol; the film will be a biopic-style film focusing on the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks in 2019. Rather than focusing on the tragic event, The Are Us will look at Ardern's response to the events and how a leader united their country during such a challenging time; in turn, successfully banning assault rifles in New Zealand.

Although her response to the tragedy was praised worldwide, it's important to note that Ardern did want any leader should and is expected to do; show compassion and empathy. Our admiration for her approach is very indicative of the lack of leadership that has been shown in response to similar attacks in the past and begs the question, why are so many of our world leaders incapable of doing the bare minimum?

They Are Us is not so much about the attack but the response to the attack,” director and writer Niccol shared in a statement. “How an unprecedented act of hate was overcome by an outpouring of love and support. The film addresses our common humanity which is why I think it will speak to people around the world. It is an example of how we should respond when there’s an attack on our fellow human beings.”

Although the Ardern government have stated they have not played any part in the creation of the film; Niccol consulted and worked alongside several members of the mosques affected by the tragedy to develop the script. While details on the film are still scarce, stay tuned for more updates on what is sure to be a career-defining role for Rose Byrne in They Are Us.

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