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HIT THE ROAD

Panah Panahi | 2021 | 93 MINS
Iran | Subtitles
Premiering in the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, this impressively made and touching debut it demonstrates a skill and control of the medium that’s rare for a first film by Panar Panahi the son of the greatest living Iranian director.

In Detail

This is about a young man (Amin Simiar) on a road trip with his mother (Pantea Panahiha), father (Hassan Madjooni), and younger brother (Rayan Sarlak). He’s leaving his Iranian hometown for a somewhat mysterious purpose, but it’s not hard to gather what happened, especially when you hear the work by exiled singers on the radio and knowing that Panahi’s spent the last ten years watching his father struggle to live and express himself under house arrest.

Criticism of his country’s authoritarian regime and the psychological toll it takes on ordinary people is implicit in every stage of the journey but achieved with the lightest of touches. For ultimately, as with much of the enduring work of his father and other recent Iranian cinema icons, from Abbas Kiarostami to Asghar Farhadi to the Makhmalbafs, these are stories both culturally specific and able to evoke universal experiences that connect beyond borders.

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