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By Peter Kilfoyle
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An essential watch: Baroness Warsi reviews the Oscar nominated film, 'The Long Goodbye'

An essential watch: Baroness Warsi reviews the Oscar nominated film, 'The Long Goodbye'

Alamy

2 min read

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

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 daylight by a far-right group as both the police and white neighbours ignore their cries for help.

The film visualises the fear, anxiety and anger that many British Asians have voiced to me

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 and discrimination they continue to face.

The Long Goodbye, through a powerful overly-dramatised 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 the most brutal of hate crimes and 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.

Baroness Warsi is a Conservative peer

'The Long Goodbye'
Directed by: Aneil Karia
Written by: Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
Broadcaster: YouTube

1 OSCAR NOMINATION
British talent to watch: Best Short Film (Live Action): Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed

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