--When I waxed enthusiastic to a friend about seeing this movie, she said: “How can you be so rapturous about a film about a suicide?” But suicide is not what the film is about. Nor does one come away from the film feeling depressed—just the opposite. The goodness of Solo and his infectious curiosity, the beauty of the mountains of North Carolina in the fall, the meaningfulness of being a father in a flawed and economically perilous world—all win in the end. I suspect the film still haunts me because it speaks deeply to the human condition. It asks me to step back and ask what life is for and to look around and inquire how others make meaning and find sense in life. Perhaps, what was once said of Kiarostami, can be said of Bahrani: He “believes in beauty as he believes in Truth, not as a conclusion but as an undertaking.” No Hollywood film has ever led me to consider how I might believe and try to live out the same thing. “Goodbye Solo” did.

Find out why John Coleman, SJ, felt that way about this extraordinary new movie in our online Culture section here.

James Martin, SJ