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The pairing of a Senegalese taxi driver and a grumbling old-timer in North Carolina is the basis for this insightful portrait of human behaviour from Ramin Bahrani.
Director: Ramin Bahrani
Solo is a Senegalese immigrant driving a taxi in North Carolina, an amiable, open and inquisitive chatterbox with aspirations to become a flight attendant. One night, granite faced, grumbling old-timer William gets in his cab, and offers Solo a job; in two weeks' time, he wants the driver to take him to Blowing Rock, an immense cliff that forms one of the region's most famous tourist attractions. Solo grasps an immediate insight into the distant man's intentions, and devotes himself to a mission of helping William, to finding him a new lease of life. However, William doesn't welcome the tenacity and intrusions of his younger counterpart, while Solo's pregnant wife and young step-daughter are left vying for his attention.
Following Man Push Cart (2005) and Chop Shop (2007), Ramin Bahrani's third feature is another humanist portrait that continues to mark him out as one as the most distinctive and engaged young auteurs working in America today. As with the previous films, wonderfully drawn characters come alive on screen, and the irresistible pairing of first-time actor Souléymane Sy Savané and former Elvis bodyguard Red West works to brilliant effect.