Rosana, a Bolivian maid, has worked for Angela, the elder matriarch of the Vidal family for the last ten years. On the day of the funeral of her beloved Angela, Rosana is not allowed to grieve with the rest of the family. On the contrary: she is forced to work. THE GOODBYE is an intimate story about how emotional bonds supersede social conventions, racial labels or family regimes.

Director's Statement

The story of THE GOODBYE is built around Rosana’s character, with the aim of portraying the invisibility of certain gestures, certain feminine faces, and certain farewells.

The story is conceived more as a portrait of manners than a classical drama. And as such, it intends to focus on the thickness of the daily rhythms, the importance of the little actions of the protagonist performing the same invisible rituals she has performed every day. In other words: the story is not centred on a specific gesture that changes things, instead, the change happens because of an accumulation of little gestures. But this time something stands between Rosana and her daily business: her grieving for the death of Angela, the woman she took care of for more than ten years.

The characters in THE GOODBYE gravitate around Angela’s death and the funeral rituals, which give a certain weight to the story. The visual treatment of the story is tinged with the contained attitude and the sobriety of the family: there’s no crying, no crumbling, feelings don’t circulate, hidden under a veneer of propriety and elegance. Through the visual language I wanted to enhance this sense of stillness and sobriety. We worked with the blocking of the actors within the shot through long shots and choreographed movements, inspired by such films as CRIES AND WHISPERS by Ingmar Bergman and Carl Theodor Dreyer’s ORDET.

THE GOODBYE is not just the story of Rosana, but of many other women forced to leave their own families and their own sick mothers to care for others. We live in a time of changes in which the polarisation of social classes and the difficulty of escaping the fate of the conditions that are given to us from birth is constantly criticised. And I think it’s necessary to speak of the persistence of certain rites of class, of certain forms of de-humanisation in dealing with the subordinates.

Director's Biography

Clara Roquet is a writer and director from Spain, and a current student of the Film MFA at Columbia University in the USA. She is the co-writer of the feature film 10,000KM (2014), EFA-nominated and winner of various awards. THE GOODBYE is her directorial debut.

Clara is currently in post-production of her new short film THE GOOD GIRLS, shot in Spain during August 2016.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Clara Roquet

Written by: Clara Roquet

Produced by: Sergi Moreno, Tono Folguera

Cinematography: Gris Jordana

Editing: Mounia Akl, Carlos Marques-Marcet

Production Design: Evelin Hernandez, Ana Pons-Formosa

Costume Design: Vinyet Escobar

Make-Up & Hair: Laura De Bruyn

Original Score: Paul Tyan

Sound Design: Diego Casares

Main Cast: Júlia Danés (Júlia), Mercè Pons (Mercè), Jenny Rios (Rosana)

Nominations and Awards

  • European Short Film 2016