Directed by Ramin Bahrani • With Souleymane Sy Savane, Red West • Produced by Gigantic Pictures, Noruz Films and Lucky Hat Entertainment
Souléymane, AKA Solo, a 34 year old, Senegalese taxi driver in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is hired by William, a tough 70-year-old white southerner, to drive him in two weeks time, on October 20th, to Blowing Rock, the peak of a secluded mountain. Solo comes to understand William’s plan, and makes one of his own – to befriend the stubborn 70-year-old and dissuade him from jumping off the rock before the two weeks are up. He brings William with him on taxi rides; they visit drug dealers and bars, play pool, and flirt with barmaids. Solo even introduces William to his 9-yearold stepdaughter, smart and independent Alex, with whom William immediately forms a bond. He also meets Solo’s strong-willed Mexican wife Quiera, who discourages Solo from pursuing his dream of becoming a flight attendant. Ultimately, Solo leaves Quiera and moves into William’s motel room. Though William tries to keep Solo at arm’s length, Solo convinces him to act as his study partner for his flight attendant test. Just days before the 20th, Solo is convinced that he has succeeded in saving William.
William also keeps a secret from his past to himself. When he closes his bank account and gives away the last of his possessions, Solo, crushed, realizes that William has not forgotten his death wish, and confronts him. William violently throws him out of their motel room. No longer William’s driver, Solo has lost everything. That’s when Solo realizes that to truly be a selfless friend to William, he must do the opposite of what he had planned: he must be the one to take his friend to his death. And so, on October 20th, Solo drives William to the mountaintop. With them comes Alex, Solo’s last hope to save William. There on Blowing Rock, high above the brilliant autumn colors, where the wind is powerful enough to blow a man up into the sky, the drama reaches its climax.