United Nations Association of New York

11/29/2023 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/29/2023 23:06

UNA-NYC Hosts a Special Panel and Sold Out Screening of “Goodbye Julia”

UNA-NYC Hosts a Special Panel and Sold Out Screening of "Goodbye Julia"

Nov 29
Written By UNA-NYC

Left to right: UNA-NYC Executive Director Ann Nicol, film director Mohamed Kordofani, journalist and anchor Ann Curry, an audience member, and actor Ger Duany.

The United Nations Association of New York presented another screening in their popular FilmTalk series on November 17 at the Dolby Screening Room - and it was a full-house, sold out event featuring a film not in general release as yet: the acclaimed drama Goodbye Julia. This film is the first feature directed by Mohamed Kordofani, as well as the first film from Sudan ever to be presented in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival, where it went on to win that section's Prix de Liberté (Freedom Prize).

With some necessary event rescheduling by UNA-NYC, Mr. Kordafani was able to take time out from his many appearances around the world presenting his film, to participate in a panel moderated by journalist and anchor Ann Curry, discussing his film and the situation in Sudan. Also taking part was one of the film's actors, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ger Duany, a former child soldier from Sudan who became a refugee in Ethiopia and Kenya, and eventually resettled to the United States from when 15 years old. Ger starred opposite Reese Witherspoon in The Good Lie, which we presented in our FilmTalk series in 2015.

Goodbye Julia tells the story of two women who represent the complicated relationship and differences between northern and southern Sudanese communities. It 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 retired popular singer from the North, who lives with her husband Akram in a tense marriage, seeks to attenuate her feelings of guilt for causing the death of a Southern man by employing Julia, his unsuspecting widow, as her maid.

Unable to confess her transgressions to Julia, Mona decides to leave the past behind and adjust to a new status quo, unaware that the country's turmoil may find its way into her home and put her face to face with her sins.

In an interview, Kordofani remarked that "the racism that was practiced for many decades from most Northern Arabs, government and people, was a major reason for the southerners choosing to secede. I consider Goodbye Julia a call for reconciliation and a spotlight on the social dynamics that led to the separation of the South."