Coming to Say Goodbye cover
AIDS orphan GeorgeNairobi slumsAIDS patient taking pain killerOgola's Grandmother laughing

Coming to Say Goodbye

5.00 out of 5 based on 1 customer rating
(1 customer review)


This is a stunning documentary on the AIDS pandemic as experienced today by East Africans. Through the eyes of courageous people suffering from AIDS, and their eloquent and committed caregivers, we see that this disease is more than a “health crisis.” It is also part of the larger cycle of poverty and inequality that devastates food security and economic development in the world’s poorest countries.

Duration : 27 min

Release Date : 2002

Discussion Guide available


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“AIDS statistics are numbers with the tears washed off.” Coming to Say Goodbye vividly recounts the stories of several families grappling with the ravages of AIDS in Kenya and Tanzania, where the problem is so immense that the poor are being left to suffer on their own. Many lack even the food needed to take medicine properly. Most of the patients are women, typically rejected and abandoned by their families. Also doomed are 100,000 to 150,000 AIDS-infected orphans in East Africa.

The stories are woven together by insights from church workers, social workers, educators, and medical professionals who face a collapsing health-care system even as they struggle to stand by those who are suffering. These caregivers help us see the connection between the AIDS crisis in Africa and the broader issues of extreme poverty, inequality, and international policies that keep the cycle spinning. They point to excessive debt, the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank and the IMF, and drug patent issues that make medications unavailable to the poor as factors behind this modern-day plague that has wiped out an entire generation of Africans.

The extraordinary social cost represented in Coming to Say Goodbye challenges viewers to take up the role of global advocate in combating this devastating disease.

Globe-Silver Award (World Media Festival, Hamburg, Germany)

International Film and Video Festival Award for Creative Excellence

Cine Golden Eagle Award

World Medal Winner (New York Film Festival’s Film and Video Competition)

Heart of the Festival Award (Vermont International Film Festival)


PBS stations
Cable networks in the U.S.

Screenings and Festivals

World Media Festival (Hamburg, Germany)
United Nations Film Festival
International Film and Video Festival; The New York Festivals Film & Video Competition
Vermont International Film Festival

How to use this film

Coming to Say Goodbye is part of our Connecting the Dots series, which shows how policies carried out by the industrialized world create poverty and suffering in the developing world. These documentaries are thought-provoking resources on the global dimensions of social and environmental justice. Click here to read a review of this series by Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Ph.D.

Specific suggestions for showing our films in your community can be found under Using Our Films. Further information on HIV/AIDS in Africa is available on the following websites:

Africa Action

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Global Action for Children

Global AIDS Alliance

Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance

Oxfam International

Student Global AIDS Campaign


Additional information

Weight .25 lbs
Dimensions 5.25 x .5 x 7.5 in

View Film Clip

Coming to Say Goodbye

1 review for Coming to Say Goodbye

  1. 5 out of 5

    “Coming to Say Goodbye tells eight stories of real people struggling with the AIDS pandemic in East Africa. It contains unforgettable images of children who have been orphaned by disease and whose futures have been shackled by international debt. The film makes a powerful case that the AIDS crisis in Africa is a symptom of the poverty and inequality that are part of an unjust global system.”

    Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, Ph.D.
    Writer, Theologian, Teacher

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