Goodbye Solo: A Stunning Film

John ArmstrongFilm

Poster thumbnail Goodbye Solo is a work of deep feeling and human inspiration. Two men meet. One is a refugee from Sudan who drives a cab in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The other is an older white man who is despairing of life and has plotted out the day of his own death by suicide. Their crossroads is in a Deep South context where race is transcended by hope and love.

One man, the African named Solo, is filled with hope. He sees a better future and studies hard to make that come about. The other, William, is angry, defeated and hopeless. The problem is that Solo loves William and begins to do everything that he can to stop him from ending his life. (I will not give away the ending so you will have to search elsewhere, or better yet see the film, to find out!) This odd couple embarks on a journey, over the course of about three weeks, that will change them both in ways neither could have imagined before they met, by what is sheer chance.

The newly acclaimed filmmaker, Ramin Bahrani (Man Push Cart and Chop Shop), tells a powerful story that has received high praise from international critics. Roger Ebert calls Bahrani, "The new great American director." I concur.

Like so many human interest films that tell a really moving story well, sadly you would never find such a film on the big screens in our multiplex theaters. If you are moved by great stories of friendship, and by the struggle of hopeless people to deal with their own life and death, then you will be moved by this magnificent film. It surprises in ways that will delight those who love good film.