Ramin Bahrani's latest film, Goodbye Solo, is set in Winston-Salem and involves a Senegalese taxi driver and a white American man. The movie is not about the collision of their cultures. What matters in this expertly directed movie is the existential situation of being between hope and despair. The taxi driver is hope; the American is despair. The driver has a good reason to hope (he is young, about to become a father), and the American has a good reason to despair (he is old and alone). From these two positions, Bahrani develops an emotional language for a society that has been totally transformed by the processes of globalization. (See Movie Times: thestranger.com/film.)

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