Goodbye Julia tells the story of two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities. The multi-layered narrative takes place in Khartoum during the last years of Sudan as a united country, shortly before the 2011 separation of South Sudan. Mona, an upper-middle-class former popular singer from the North, who lives with her husband Akram, seeks to attenuate her feelings of guilt for causing the death of a Southern man by employing Julia, his unsuspecting widow, as her maid.
Supported by superb cinematography by South African Pierre de Villiers and a moving musical score by Sudanese musician Mazin Hamid recorded during ongoing clashes between the military and civil society in Khartoum, this is an astonishing directorial debut by the largely self-taught filmmaker Mohammed Kordofani. Goodbye Julia is the first film from Sudan ever to be presented in the Cannes Film Festival where it walked away with the prestigious Prix de la Liberté (Freedom Award) in the Un Certain Regard competition.
Two women forge a connection across devastating divides : the story of a fraught friendship between two very different women, Kordofani’s intelligent, engrossing and compassionate scripting ensures that the political never overwhelms the personal.
Jessica Kiang, Variety
With shades of a thriller and a sense of its own politics, Goodbye Julia is a drama that brings to life the complex issues of racism, discrimination, and secession in Sudan.
Lovia Gyarkye, Hollywood Reporter
A plea for peace wrapped in a character drama.
Cameron Fairchild, Loudandclear
A film of impeccable quality, Goodbye Julia offers up wonderful snapshots, overviews and explanations of the nuances of the acute Sudanese situation of the time.
Fabien Lemercier, Cineuropa
Some of the biggest lies told are those we tell ourselves.
Mona, Goodbye Julia
I consider Goodbye Julia a call for reconciliation and a spotlight on the social dynamics that led to the separation of the South.
Mohamed Kordofani, Director of Goodbye Julia