the horrors of Sudan from the perspective of femininity

By Etienne Sorin

Published ,

Goodbye JuliaLiberté prize in the Un certain regard section, films the journey of Julia (Siran Riak), a young Catholic servant in a torn Sudan. Madsolutions/ARP Selection

CRITICAL – Through the friendship between a Muslim and a Catholic, Mohamed Kordofani depicts the wounds of a country scarred by war. And uses his remorse as a driving force.

Last May, a film from Sudan appeared for the first time in the official selection at the Cannes film festival. Goodbye Julia, presented in the Un certain regard section, received the Freedom Prize. The first feature film by Mohamed Kordofani, an aeronautical engineer by training, opens with the riots of 2005 in Khartoumwhich occurred after the death of the leader of the Southern Christians, John Garang.

In the surrounding chaos, Mona, a Muslim from the North, injures a little boy by knocking him over while driving her car and flees. When the child’s father chases her home, Mona’s husband, Akram, coldly shoots him dead. The body joins the anonymous victims of repression. A falsified report makes him disappear. The searches of his wife, Julia, remain in vain.

Guilt pushes Mona to hire Julia into her service, hiding her secret from her. Akram, for his part, is unaware that the new servant is the widow of the man he killed. The poor young Catholic woman…

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