Riz Ahmed 'The Long Goodbye' by Aneil Karia
Aneil Karia directs a harrowing narrative set in a dystopian Britain, for Riz Ahmed's The Long Goodbye.
Taking place in a nondescript town in Surrey, we are introduced to a British South Asian family in a bustling household- one son is trying to teach his Dad -played by Ahmed- dance moves, whilst the other is cosied up on the sofa with his girlfriend, playing games and chilling out. Several other family members are spotted around the house, with a group of girls getting ready upstairs, and the grandfather trying his best to catch the news on the TV, amongst the flurry of activity.
In the midst of the chaos, we see moments that are universally relatable - trying to manage different family members and their short tempers, moving furniture around to accommodate more people for a party. Small snapshots of everyday life to paint a picture of the family dynamic. Having stumbled around with an old chair for several minutes, to the dismay of several family members, Ahmed sets it down in a cramped room, before noticing an alarming scene unfolding across the road.
In broad daylight, a group of white men in black uniforms are forceably removing people from their homes. The tone of the video shifts as Ahmed screams for everyone to run for cover, exclaiming "This is it. It's happening now". The uniformed gang catch up to Ahmed and his loved ones, in a truly haunting third-act.
This near-future dystopia is conceptualised brilliantly by director Aneil Karia, who won an MVA last year for his collaboration with Kano, and is known for his work on TV series such as Top Boy. Uncomfortable and confrontational, this isn't an overly exaggerated narrative with tonnes of creative license. This is one or two missteps into the future, the potential result of the current political climate and events such as the ongoing Windrush scandal. The surreal transition from happy family to mindless murder on the street is made only more harrowing given its basis in reality.
DoP Stuart Bentley creates an authentic aesthetic through the use of natural daylight and documentary-style camera movement, succinctly matching the tone of the project. This is a concept very much based in the real world, and Bentley ensures the cinematography is as unobtrusive as possible.
Karia is an exceptional talent bringing important stories to the forefront, and a perfect match to such a visceral concept and track. A one-take monologue at the end of the video depicts Ahmed rising with a newfound strength, confronting the camera directly with the deplorable reality that is staring us all in the face: “Don’t question us about our loyalty, our blood and sweat’s enough / Born under a sun that you made too hot for us / Kidnapped by Empire and diaspora fostered us.”
• Behind The Scenes feature on The Long Goodbye on WePresent
|Executive Producer||Scott O'Donnell|
|Executive Producer||Tim Nash|
|Executive Producer||Sally Campbell|
|Executive Producer||Seth Wilson|
|Executive Producer||Saskia Whinney|
|Executive Producer||Caroline Reason|
|Production Manager||Maddy Perkins|
|1st AD||Hayley Williams|
|Director of Photography||Stuart Bentley|
|Gaffer||Bill Rae Smith|
|Casting director||Shaheen Baig|
|Production designer||Ruth Crawford|
|Costume designer||Holly Rebecca|
|Hair & Make-up||Lisa Mustafa|
|Production Assistant||Chloe Slattery|
|Location Manager||Amrit Sahotay|
|Stunt Co-ordinator||Marc Cass|
|Stunt Co-ordinator||John Street|
|Sound Recording||Nadine Richardson|
|Editing company||Final Cut|
|Post production company||Time Based Arts|
|Sound design||Paul Davies|
|Sound Recording||Andrew Stirk|
|Other credits||Riz: Riz Ahmed Aminah: Hussina Raja Dad: Javed Hashmi Mum: Sudha Bhuchar Karim: Rish Shah Aisha: Ambreen Razia Khadija: Taru Devani Sana: Reynah Rita Oppal Brother's friend: Nikkita Chadha Fatima: Asmara Gabrielle Farheen: Marissa Hussain Nas: Leon Ung|
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