TAKE ME SOMEWHERE NICE

It’s one debacle after another for Alma (newcomer Sara Luna Zorić). When her long-estranged father is hospitalized in his native Bosnia, a not-quite-headstrong young woman leaves her home in The Netherlands to visit him. When she lands at the airport with a few Bosnian phrases and a new dress, her distracted older cousin Emir neglects to drive her to the hospital, preferring to hang out with his buddy Denis, “who has a girlfriend, so don’t even think about it.”

After dyeing her hair and outlasting her patience, she hits the road on her own, quickly losing her luggage, her money, and her mooring. Along a bizarre chain of events and interactions with a cast of road-weary characters, Alma faces disappointment after disappointment with devil-may-care detachment and a newfound maturity.

In its breathless series of hotels, cars, buses, and waiting rooms, Take Me Somewhere Nice captures the dreary, fish-out-of-water isolation of the unfamiliar highway. An endearing update of Chantal Akerman’s Les Rendez-Vous d’Anna, fused with the jazzy cynicism of Wim Wenders’ and Jim Jarmusch’s 70’s road movies, and the stark, sunlit despair of a David Hockney painting.

Recipient of the Special Jury Prize at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Take Me Somewhere Nice is the unpredictable, neon-tinted feature debut for Ena Sendijarević, a Bosnian-born refugee raised in Holland who is now one of Dutch cinema’s fastest rising talents. Her film’s breezy wit and pastel color palette disguise dark truths about national identity, gender, and coming-of-age, making it the first essential road movie about the TikTok generation.

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