> Series Classification: G (General Programmes) | Produced for RNZ by Disorient Pictures Ltd
This is Us is a series of digital stories created by Iranian-New Zealand film-maker Ghazaleh Golbakhsh in response to the 15th March 2019 terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
Soon after March 15th, when PM Jacinda Arden said, “they are us”—some of us Muslims were left wondering who is the “they” in her well-meaning but problematic declamation? This series is an opportunity for New Zealand Muslims to talk about themselves – “us” as we see ourselves.
Each “storyteller” is asked the same question, “what do you love the most?”. Sometimes the answer is simple - a love of tennis, the beach or of the great outdoors. Often the answers lead into deeper contexts such as the strong connections between Islam and tangata whenua or how the love of cooking allows someone to learn about patience. At other times, the stories tackle harder issues such as xenophobia faced by a family who has been here for over a century or the realities of life since the attacks.
The series aims to delight with stories that are ordinary yet special; unique yet universal. It provides a platform for self-representation of Muslims but more importantly, the series is an opportunity for everyone in the country to listen to voices that have thus far only been relegated to vox pops after the tragedy of 15th March 2019.
Together, the series will paint an intimate picture of how we call fit into this place, this country and the larger human fraternity.