The Long Song Goodbye

Posted on: 15th November 2018

The Long Song Goodbye, a spoken word piece by award winning poet and playwright, Inua Ellams, has now been adapted for film by director, Michael Garrett, in honour of Remembrance Day. Ellams’ distinctive lyrical style recalls the untold stories of African soldiers brought to Europe by their European colonisers to fight the Great War. Told through the fictional character of Jero, it dramatises the particular horror of the warfare in Africa and displays how this led to the first seeds of rebellion against colonialist and imperialist powers of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Performed back in 2014 at the Battersea Arts Centre, The Long Song Goodbye returns under the direction of Michael Garrett in a new cinematic version for online release as part of 14–18 NOW, a major cultural programme taking place across the United Kingdom to mark the centenary of the First World War. Inua is one of the 25 international artists and companies to explore the impact and legacy of the First World War alongside contemporary issues of war and peace through the 14-18 NOW commissions. Ellams sheds light on the voices that are excluded from mainstream cinematic narratives of the Great War.