“Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani, currently on our screens: Intimate story for an electric Sudan

“Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani, currently on our screens: Intimate story for an electric Sudan
“Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani, currently on our screens: Intimate story for an electric Sudan

A scene from “Goodbye Julia” by Sudanese director Mohamed Kordofani

Presented in preview last Saturday, “Goodbye Julia” is now on our screens, a first work, a masterstroke for a film that is both useful, but also beautiful and well-executed.

Consumed by guilt, after having been the cause of the assassination of a South Sudanese man, Mona tries to redeem herself, by welcoming into her home, as a domestic worker, Julia, the widow of the deceased and her little boy. From a simple synopsis, Mohamed Kordofani weaves a well-executed story against the backdrop of the Sudanese question, one of the forgotten wars of the 21st century. “Goodbye Julia” is a film that appeals on more than one level, already, the rarity of Sudanese films creates particular expectations, the backstory, a period before the split between the north and the south, prepares us for a film which must create the balance between the historical narrative and that of the story being told. Between the history of a country and that of these two women who are separated by everything and who meet around the death of a man, an aesthetic takes place, a play of actors takes shape between chiaroscuro, and a scenario which nests, in the details, the elements of writing. Beautiful, fluid, aestheticizing at times, without excess and useful for lifting the veil on a part of human history that we tend not to see.
Sudan is painted by a camera that controls its frame, an image that takes the temperature of the scenes; overexposed and dusty at times, dark with some bright openings at others. The two women, Mona and Julia, meet in a troubled area, one consumed by guilt, the other destabilized by the disappearance of a husband. Through these two women, the north and the south meet, reach out to each other and bond despite what is left unsaid, lies and the falsification of truths. Moreover, the character of Mona clearly says it to Julia: “Lying is allowed if it is to spare the other person pain and distress”. And this play of shadows between two women is fascinating, they make us forget the contradictions that the country is going through, the tensions that shake it and allow us access to their intimacy, so gentle, so friendly, captured with great mastery by a filmmaker who is making his first feature film. Mohamed Kordofani creates an intimate drama and an ode to female friendship in a suspense that keeps us in suspense. A moving story of a lie against a backdrop of racism and oppression of women.
“Goodbye Julia” is a film signed with a sure hand, which combines violence without looking away and invites itself into subdued compositions, a muffled case of domestic space to unearth the roots of evil and attempts to heal the wounds. A beautiful but also useful film that Mohamed Kordofani gives us with a poignant story about guilt, mixing the intimate and the political. Without getting bogged down in stereotypes of confrontation (north and south, poor and rich, Islam and Catholicism), he leaves, to the world of men, this stormy space to grant women the difficult mission of reconciliation.

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