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American Women's Club of Hamburg

World Taxi


Germany 2020
Opening June 4, 2020

Directed by: Philipp Majer
Writing credits: Documentary
Principal actors: Documentary

world taxiPhilipp Majer accompanied five professional taxi drivers on their shifts, recording and filming interaction and conversation between drivers and customers. Though it was part of this documentary's concept that the protagonists should be chosen from all over the globe, the exact locations were of lesser importance. For logistical reasons Majer picked drivers in places that he had connections to. Destan works in Kosovo, Mamadou in Senegal and Tony in Thailand. Sergio usually shuttles customers from the U.S. to Mexico and the only female driver, Bambi, works the nightshift in Berlin. What they do have in common is that they spend a limited amount of time in a very confined space with complete strangers from all walks of life. Each fare a chance encounter, and an opportunity for a short exchange on varied subjects—not unlike speed dating.

The selection of drivers is interesting and I like the concept but I am not convinced that Majer made the best of it. Editing often is confusing, and instead of including some lengthy footage that bewilders rather than tells us anything relevant, I would have appreciated more "taxi conversations", preferably such that appear truly initiated by the protagonists, not by the "man behind the scenes". )

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