The House

The Long Goodbye

A powerful mix of cinematogr­aphy, screenplay and rap, Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed’s short film dramatical­ly illustrate­s the consequenc­es of the normalisat­ion of hate

- Baroness Warsi Conservati­ve peer

Written by Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed Broadcaste­r YouTube

Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed’s award winning and Oscar-nominated short film, The Long Goodbye, brilliantl­y and dramatical­ly illustrate­s the consequenc­es when hate is normalised in our society. An essential watch – and I would argue an important educationa­l tool – it juxtaposes extraordin­ary brutality in the ordinary everyday through the story of a far-right attack in a North London suburb.

How quickly lives can change is portrayed in the first two scenes: the playfulnes­s of a close-knit British Asian family preparing for a family wedding in the first scene is replaced by debilitati­ng fear when young Asian men, on their knees, are shot in broad daylight as both the police and white neighbours ignore their cries for help.

In the third and final scene, the multi-talented Ahmed uses the power of words to challenge current political narratives on identity and belonging, and articulate­s the uneasy relationsh­ip and conflictin­g emotions that many British Asians feel in relation to their British identity – a repercussi­on of the racism they continue to face.

The Long Goodbye, through a powerful mix of cinematogr­aphy, screenplay and rap, confronts racism in the UK and challenges those who deny or ignore it. The film visualises and brings to the fore the fear, anxiety and anger that many British Asians have voiced to me. It shows what can happen when those tasked with protecting us fail us. It reminds us that prejudice and hate aren’t only the preserve of the far-right, but that we all can be guilty by failing to challenge and becoming bystanders. It’s a stark reminder that art imitates life, and we only need to remember recent attacks on Finsbury Park Mosque, the mosque in Christchur­ch, New Zealand, and a synagogue in San Diego to see what can happen when we turn a blind eye to prejudice.

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