Riz Ahmed Starrer ‘The Long Goodbye’ Raises Questions For A Muslim Identity In The West | 28th Raindance Film Festival 2020

At the backdrop of the recent controversial steps taken by the French government concerning the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) published in the Charlie Hebdo magazine, the Riz Ahmed starrer ‘The Long Goodbye‘ makes an entry at the perfect time in the 28th Raindance Film Festival 2020.

Although the family shown in the short film is Southeast Asian, but their identity transcends geography for a western viewer. It enters into the realms of religion: Islam in particular. The identity of being a Muslim auto plays itself in the minds of a westerner.

Mentioning France’s controversial caricature issue in this film review is important, because in these testing times, the Muslim minority, which lives within the west is being forcefully alienated under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’, which is having very serious consequences being played out right in front of us presently. I wonder how many of the Muslims are going through the trauma shown in this short film around the western world.

This short film is not set in France, but in the United Kingdom and it exposes us to the danger of nationalism that’s very real and near our doorsteps. The rising far-right anywhere in the western world is creating rifts among communities that are struggling and holding on to each other; but due to some of their extreme actions, the chain holding the communities together is slowly becoming weak. The short film sheds light on a fact that can actually happen in the future, not that it hasn’t happened in the past, but with the passing times, it could happen in a much serious manner.

Director Aneil Karia takes us into a dystopian part of the world, where all hell breaks lose when an EDL march suddenly turns violent, interfering with the lives of a peaceful Asian community.

Riz Ahmed’s monologue takes the centre stage, exposing British colonial history, struggle for keeping intact the Asian Muslim identity and a place to belong to.

This short film has the potential of raising many questions to problems that desperately need answering, including solutions for the betterment of the western societies in the long run.


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