Rob Ulitski - 12th Mar 2020

Aneil Karia directs a harrowing narrative set in a dystopian Britain, for Riz Ahmed's The Long Goodbye. 

Taking place in a nondescript town in Surrey, we are introduced to a British South Asian family in a bustling household- one son is trying to teach his Dad -played by Ahmed- dance moves, whilst the other is cosied up on the sofa with his girlfriend, playing games and chilling out. Several other family members are spotted around the house, with a group of girls getting ready upstairs, and the grandfather trying his best to catch the news on the TV, amongst the flurry of activity. 

In the midst of the chaos, we see moments that are universally relatable - trying to manage different family members and their short tempers, moving furniture around to accommodate more people for a party. Small snapshots of everyday life to paint a picture of the family dynamic. Having stumbled around with an old chair for several minutes, to the dismay of several family members, Ahmed sets it down in a cramped room, before noticing an alarming scene unfolding across the road. 

In broad daylight, a group of white men in black uniforms are forceably removing people from their homes. The tone of the video shifts as Ahmed screams for everyone to run for cover, exclaiming "This is it. It's happening now". The uniformed gang catch up to Ahmed and his loved ones, in a truly haunting third-act.

This near-future dystopia is conceptualised brilliantly by director Aneil Karia, who won an MVA last year for his collaboration with Kano, and is known for his work on TV series such as Top Boy. Uncomfortable and confrontational, this isn't an overly exaggerated narrative with tonnes of creative license. This is one or two missteps into the future, the potential result of the current political climate and events such as the ongoing Windrush scandal. The surreal transition from happy family to mindless murder on the street is made only more harrowing given its basis in reality. 

DoP Stuart Bentley creates an authentic aesthetic through the use of natural daylight and documentary-style camera movement, succinctly matching the tone of the project. This is a concept very much based in the real world, and Bentley ensures the cinematography is as unobtrusive as possible. 

Karia is an exceptional talent bringing important stories to the forefront, and a perfect match to such a visceral concept and track. A one-take monologue at the end of the video depicts Ahmed rising with a newfound strength, confronting the camera directly with the deplorable reality that is staring us all in the face: “Don’t question us about our loyalty, our blood and sweat’s enough / Born under a sun that you made too hot for us / Kidnapped by Empire and diaspora fostered us.”

• Behind The Scenes feature on The Long Goodbye on WePresent

PRO Credits


DirectorAneil Karia
ConceptAneil Karia
ConceptRiz Ahmed
ProducerTom Gardner
Production CompanySomesuch
Executive ProducerScott O'Donnell
Executive ProducerTim Nash
Executive ProducerSally Campbell
Executive ProducerSeth Wilson
Executive ProducerSaskia Whinney
Executive ProducerCaroline Reason
Production ManagerMaddy Perkins
1st ADHayley Williams
Director of PhotographyStuart Bentley
GafferBill Rae Smith
EditorAmanda James
Casting directorShaheen Baig
CastingRoxanne Farahmand
Production designerRuth Crawford
Costume designerHolly Rebecca
Hair & Make-upLisa Mustafa
Production AssistantChloe Slattery
Location ManagerAmrit Sahotay
Stunt Co-ordinatorMarc Cass
Stunt Co-ordinatorJohn Street
Sound RecordingNadine Richardson
Editing companyFinal Cut
Post production companyTime Based Arts
ColouristSimone Grattarola
Sound designPaul Davies
Sound RecordingAndrew Stirk
Other creditsRiz: Riz Ahmed Aminah: Hussina Raja Dad: Javed Hashmi Mum: Sudha Bhuchar Karim: Rish Shah Aisha: Ambreen Razia Khadija: Taru Devani Sana: Reynah Rita Oppal Brother's friend: Nikkita Chadha Fatima: Asmara Gabrielle Farheen: Marissa Hussain Nas: Leon Ung

Rob Ulitski - 12th Mar 2020

Related Content


Kano 'Trouble' by Aneil Karia

Aniel Karia directs this challenging short film, based on a concept by Kano, in which a promising teenager is stabbed. The London MC searches for sense and reason in this conversation with his …

Ned Botwood - 24th July 2019


Deptford Goth 'Relics' by Aneil Karia

Aneil Karia's latest video for Deptford Goth is this extremely lo-fi new video for Relics, shot in Los Angeles, focussing on one incorrigible local character who's never stopped …

David Knight - 12th Feb 2015


Kano 'A Blessed Place' by Aneil Karia

After the intense dramatisations of life for black Londoners in their powerful films for Trouble and Teardrops, Kano and Aneil Karia offer a complete change of pace, and …

Promonews - 1 month ago

Latest News