Once again... scrubbing the list of films from the recently announced SXSW Film Festival line-up, in search of any films starring black faces in front of or behind the camera... I found this... number 2 thus far (See #1, titled, Sorry, Thanks).
It's called Goodbye Solo, the latest film from internationally-acclaimed Iranian American filmmaker Ramin Bahrani, responsible for the previously well-reviewed and received, Chop Shop, and Man Push Cart.
It premiered as an official selection of the Venice Film Festival last year (2008), where it won the international film critic's FIPRESCI award for best film; and it later had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, also in late 2008.
And for those of us in these United States, SXSW gets the honor of debuting the film next month, when the festival opens at its Austin, TX location.
So, what's it all about:
On the lonely roads of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, two men forge an improbable friendship that will change both of their lives forever. Solo is a Senegalese cab driver working to provide a better life for his young family. William is a tough Southern good ol‘ boy with a lifetime of regrets. One man‘s American dream is just beginning, while the other‘s is quickly winding down. But despite their differences, both men soon realize they need each other more than either is willing to admit. Through this unlikely but unforgettable friendship, GOODBYE SOLO deftly explores the passing of a generation as well as the rapidly changing face of America.
Ok. For a change, I'll withhold every impulsive, knee-jerk reaction I have to the above write-up. After all, I haven't even seen the film yet!
By the way, the name "Solo" in the film's title, is the name of the lead character, played by Senegalese actor, Souleymane Sy Savane.
Roadside Attractions already owns theatrical rights to the film for stateside audiences, and will release it in limited release on March 27th, right after SXSW closes it doors for the year.
Its IMDB page lists theatrical distributors in several other countries - mostly in Europe and South America.
Here's the trailer: