The Long Goodbye, a short film produced and co-written by British superstar Riz Ahmed, just won the Best Live Action Short Film Oscar. You may have missed the win on the news, not just because of ‘the slap’ but because it was one of the awards controversially handed out in the pre-recorded section of the American Academy Awards.
When Ahmed picked up the Oscar, the 39-year-old voiced the importance of togetherness in divided times. ‘We believe that the role of the story is to remind us there is no us and them,’ he said. ‘There’s just us.’
Behind Ahmed on stage was co-writer and director Aneil Karia, best known for directing Surge. Karim’s debut film saw Ben Whishaw put in a Sundance award-winning performance as an airport security guard who has a mental breakdown. Here’s everything you need to know about the pair’s award-winning collaboration.
What is The Long Goodbye about?
Twelve minutes long, The Long Goodbye is divided into three acts. The first part sees an Asian family at home, in a house not unlike the one Ahmed grew up in Wembley, London.
Ahmed’s character is at the heart of a busy household. We meet him having a dance-off with a younger brother, criticising another sibling for not doing the washing up, and arguing with his dad over whether it’s worth watching the news. Upstairs, a gaggle of girls are preparing for a wedding, with the bride admitting she fancies a work colleague.
The middle section switched focus to show why you ignore the 24-hour news cycle at your peril – especially as an immigrant family in modern-day Britain. The rioters glimpsed on-screen arrive at the family’s doorstep. White nationalists enter their home, terrorising the family, before dragging them onto the streets and attacking them.
On the soundtrack is a track from Ahmed's 2020 concept album, ‘The Long Goodbye’, which looks at Britain’s post-Brexit relationship with South Asians and British Asians using the metaphor of an abusive relationship. The album inspired the short film.
Where can you watch The Long Goodbye?
It’s free to view on YouTube. Just click play below.