2013 SXSW Interview & Review: AND WHO TAUGHT YOU TO DRIVE?

By Renee’ Collins

Rating: 4 (Out of 5 Reels)

And Who Taught You to Drive? was the first film I saw this year at the 2013 South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival.  And, I am glad it was because it is just the kind of quirky slice of life film I love to see at this festival each year.

Driving through traffic at home is already stressful enough. Now imagine driving a car in a completely foreign country.  Mirela, moving from Germany to India, Jake moving from the USA to Japan and South Korean Hye-Won living in Germany are facing the same problem.  They are all forced to obtain a new local driver’s license.  Driving lessons soon become lessons of life when it starts to dawn on our protagonists that getting through the day will involve much more than just obeying the rules of the road in their host country.  This film is a cultural comedy about accepting that it’s difficult but fun to be different from each other (SXSW).

I was fortunate enough to interview director, Andrea Thiele and screen writer, Lia Jaspers.    They settled on these three people by posting a casting call online in each country then chose who they thought was best for the project.  Apparently, the entire project took eight months to complete because of issues regarding filming in these diverse countries.  Especially Japan because they had to wait a long time to get permission to film and bow thousands of times which was extremely frustrating.  Because of those difficult circumstances we get the most in depth story of Hye-Won including most of her family because the filmmakers are from Germany and therefore it was the easiest place to shoot.  I asked if they would conquer another project like this again and was told never again in a car because it was too cramped and too hot in India.

I connected in a way with Jake because at one point in time I almost moved to a foreign county to teach English as Jake does but alas for me it wasn’t meant to be but I admire him for making it happen.  I think many will enjoy this slice of life look at three people dealing with obstacles in their lives in foreign countries and learning to deal with them in their own way.  I look forward to viewing future work from these two talented film makers.

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