What makes one British? A birth certificate, an accent or a passport? There is no denial that the UK has always been resistant to the idea that immigrants could become a permanent part of British society. However, when Brexit hit the ground, no one could have predicted how much hate would resurface. To be clear, Britain never suffered harmful economic effects from too many immigrants, what this country was and has been suffering from is fear and hatred of immigrants, regardless if a person was born to one or is one. 

Image © The Long Goodbye

The Long Goodbye, a short film written by Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed, and directed by Aneil, is one of those disturbing and fictional yet believable portrayals of a dystopian future where ethnic minorities become more than just “uncomfortable” to the white Brits. The film opens with a heart-warming and picture-perfect scene: Riz (Riz Ahmed: The Sound of Metal, Mogul Mowgli) and his family are preparing the house for a family wedding. Giggles and jokes are floating around until the unthinkable happens – armed and masked men forcibly enter the house and round up everyone outside while holding them at gunpoint…

Image © The Long Goodbye

Although The Long Goodbye is a 12-minute short film, it is a powerful piece of writing, including the exceptional spoken-word monologue delivered by Riz at the end of the film: “Did they ask you where you’re from? Where you’re really from? (…) Everybody everywhere wants their country back, if you want me back to where I’m from, bro, I need a map (…).” This profound articulation grabs the viewer by the throat, causing a few tears as well. 

The Long Goodbye was brought to life in close association with Riz Ahmed’s new album of the same title. The album is as high-powered as the short, with the film itself arising a significant question: Where do we belong? 

Image © The Long Goodbye

Naturalism of the narrative defines a large part of Aneil’s new work. It roots the film in a tangible and real world to make the audience realise how possible this scenario could be. The Long Goodbye gives a chilling experience not only through the captivating performance by Riz, but also through flawless cinematography by Stuart Bentley and editing by Amanda James, which both unified the storyline’s atmosphere throughout the film beautifully. Although The Long Goodbye is not an easy watch, it’s an essential viewing to understand and learn what really goes through the minds of ethnic minorities and immigrants living in the UK. 

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Written by Maggie Gogler

View of the Arts is a British online publication that chiefly deals with films, music, arts and fashion, with an emphasis on the Asian entertainment industry. We are hoping our audience will grow with us as we begin to explore new platforms such as K-pop, and continue to dive into the talented and ever-growing scene of film, arts and fashion, worldwide.

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Film, Short films

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