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Aylan Kurdi’s family is feeling heartbroken and angry about the unauthorized movie that’s being made about him. Aylan Kurdi was the little Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach in 2015 and shocked the world.
“I’m really heartbroken right now,” said Kurdi from her home in Port Coquitlam, B.C., near Vancouver. “It’s unacceptable.”
The photo of two-year-old Aylan has become a tragic symbol of the European migrant crisis. The little boy, his brother Galib and mother, Rehana, all drowned when the small inflatable boat they were in capsized in the Mediterranean. The family was attempting to reach the island of Kos in Greece.
Kurdi said no one involved in the movie asked her family for permission to tell the story. She first heard about it from Alan’s father, Abdullah, who is living in Iraq.
The movie is entitled Aylan Baby: Sea of Death. It features American actor Steven Seagal and is currently being filmed in Turkey near where Aylan’s body was found.
Writer and director Omer Sarikaya has posted photos of the production and of the movie poster on social media.
Last year, Kurdi published a memoir of Aylan called The Boy on the Beach. She says the family has turned down a number of offers to turn it into a movie.
Kurdi says the family has no power to stop the movie, but hopes to get the attention of Sarikaya by speaking publicly about their despair.
In response to the Kurdi family’s criticism of the movie, Sarikaya says the film is only loosely based on them, despite the resemblance to the Kurdi family, while focusing on the broader issue of the refugee crisis.
He says the goal is to feature the movie at several international film festivals and make a deal with Netflix and the net profit from his movie would go to help refugees.