Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Goodbye Solo 2008

Directed by Ramin Bahrani

A gregarious young Senegalese taxi driver tries to persuade his aging white passenger that life is great in this continually surprising American South tale of clashing spirits and generations. “Wonderful.” — NY Times

USA In English
91 minutes 35mm

Director, Editor


Jason Orans
Ramin Bahrani


Ramin Bahrani
Bahareh Azimi


Michael Simmonds

Production designer

Chad Keith


Tom Efinger


Souléymane Sy Savané (Solo)
Red West (William)
Diana Franco Galindo (Alex)
Carmen Leyva (Quiera)
Lane ‘Roc' Williams (Roc)
Mamadou (Mamadou)


Venice, Toronto, London 2008; SXSW 2009


Winner Critics' Prize, Venice Film Festival 2008


Senegalese Solo (the gregariously likeable Souléymane Sy Savané) is an irrepressible optimist hoping for work in airline hospitality and tooling around Winston-Salem in his cab. One evening, the weary, taciturn William (Red West, a former bodyguard to Elvis Presley) climbs into the back seat. His in-advance request to be left at a local mountain-top implies no intention of returning alive. Before Solo drives him there in two weeks he'll do anything he can to persuade the old man that life is good, even move him in with his own young family. The evolving interchange between these two radically different spirits (and generations of Southern man) is continually surprising and beautifully performed. — BG

“The story told in... Ramin Bahrani's wonderful third feature is moving and mysterious, and you may find yourself pondering its implications for a long time after the film's simple and haunting final images have faded.” — A.O. Scott, NY Times