Five Star Film: Goodbye Julia



This powerful drama is the first feature film written and directed by Mohamed Kordofani, a largely self-taught  filmmaker.

It was filmed in Khartoum with difficulty during challenging political conditions. It is set in the period between 2005 and 2010 leading to the separation of North and South Sudan.

It is the first film from Sudan ever to be presented as the official submission for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards – and it was awarded Un Certain Regard Freedom Prise at the Cannes Film Festival.

Julia (Siran Riak, (who is a fashion model and a former Miss Sudan) and her husband Santino (Paulino Victor Bol) and child Daniel (Louis Daniel Ding) are poor southern Christians,  evicted without reason from their shanty home.



Mona (Eiman Yousifa) a rich Northern Sudanese woman who has given up her singing career to marry her domineering husband Akram (Nazar Goma). They live in a gated area in a well-off district.

While driving home she is distracted and knocks Daniel off his bicycle. She drives on, phoning her husband that she is being followed by a southerner (who is the boy’s father) on a motor bike, and he kills him with a shotgun. This is covered up by the police – and Julia thinks her husband has abandoned her.

Mona’s guilt at having unintentionally caused the death of Santino is the starting point for her to look for Julia, and when she is found offers her a job as a live-in maid. She educates her son and makes their lives as pleasant as possible.



The two very different women become friends, forming a strong connection which encourages them to find liberation.

This is a powerful drama filmed in rich warm colour by cinematographer Pierre de Villier, with a musical score which includes the music of Sudan from both countries by Mazin Hamid. It was recorded during ongoing clashes between military and civil society.

Kordofani has said, “The racism that was practised for many decades for most Northern Arabs, government, and people, was a major reason for the Southerners to secede”. He considers Goodbye Julia as a call for reconciliation and a spotlight on the social dynamics that led to the separation of the South.

Military conflict started again in April 2023.

115 minutes.

Now showing at Luna Leederville.

Watch the trailer…