AUSTIN FILM FESTIVAL 2011
By Caitlyn Collins | October 18, 2011
Writers: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
Directors: Rania Attieh, Daniel Garcia
Starring: Daniel Arzrouni, Nadimé Attieh, Walid Ayoubi, Nawal Mekdad, Sablawork Tesfay
Playing a character so pathetic he isn’t even given a name by writers/directors Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia, Daniel Arzrouni plays the main character in Ok, Enough, Goodbye. Set in the town of Tripoli, Lebanon, Arzrouni is introduced whilst lying in bed yelling for his mother (Nadimé Attieh). He just wants to see where she is and what she’s doing. Mother and son have a tense and insular relationship; she still does all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. He drives her around and dyes her hair when she needs it. A 40-something owner of a bakery, he’s entirely too old to be living at home with his mother. Yet, it becomes quite clear he has no intention of growing up or moving out of his comfort zone. He isn’t even willing to have lunch with the neighboring shop owner without calling home first to see what his mother has prepared for lunch. This fateful phone call forces Ok, Enough, Goodbye’s main character to include a bizarre array of people into his life, including the neighbor boy, Walid (Walid Ayoubi, and incidentally the only named character), a prostitute (Nawal Mekdad), and an Ethiopian maid (Sablawork Tesfay) who speaks no Arabic.
Attieh and Garcia employ lots of long, still shots punctuated by long stretches of silence. The film is also narrated by Rania Attieh as if we, the viewer, are flipping through a travel brochure. Candid interviews are weaved throughout the film, providing a greater sense of depth to the characters, which Arzrouni’s character still lacks. Attieh and Garcia’s direction aids in a sense of discomfort the longer we look at this man. Should we feel sorry for him? Is he worth of it? Ok, Enough, Goodbye is a twist on the traditional coming-of-age story.