Unceremoniously fired from his job, elementary school music teacher Kaspar Jensen (Benjamin Helstad, King of Devil’s Island) goes to visit his father Georg (Ingar Helge Gimle), who just might be more down on his luck than Kaspar is. In an effort to repair their strained relationship, father and son decide to make a trek to a quilting contest on the west coast of Norway, in tribute to their late wife and mother. The only catch? Georg has taken to wearing women’s clothes in public for the first time.
Traveling along like a queerer and quirkier Easy Rider, with Kaspar riding in the sidecar of his father’s old motorcycle, the two meet past lovers and new friends, while also encountering all the pathos and absurdity life has to offer. At the same time, Kaspar still struggles to recover from both his mother’s death and his recent unemployment, while Georg is gaining confidence in his gender expression. When the trip goes way, way off the rails, Georg and Kaspar finally find the strength that’s been missing in their relationship.
Norway’s landscape provides a striking backdrop for this beautifully shot film, and longtime character actor Gimle gives Georg a unique and endearing dignity. The ensemble cast keeps up the pace, jumping effortlessly from comedy to tragedy and back again. Going West captures what it’s like to run on a different wavelength from everyone else and finally learning to be okay with that.
— MORDECAI STAYTON
Royal Norwegian Consulate General in San Francisco
- Language: In Norwegian with English subtitles. ASL interpreter present
- Premiere Status: Bay Area