Hit the Road
Panah Panahi’s thrilling debut is by turns tender, quirky, even laugh-out-loud funny – a wondrously-observed reflection on family and the ambivalence of saying goodbye.
Panah Panahi, Jafar Panahi, Mastaneh Mohajer
Hassan Madjooni, Pantea Panahiha, Rayan Sarlak
Iran 2021. 93min
With English subtitles
Like every great road movie, Panahi’s drama is all about the journey. In the chaotic claustrophobia of the car, an energetic child (Rayan Sarlak) clambers over his surly father (Hassan Madjooni) whose broken leg – and mood – take up considerable space. In the front, mother (Pantea Panahiha) fusses over her other son in the driver’s seat (Amin Simiar), whose sullen face stays fixed on the deserted horizon. Nobody mentions where they are going, but knowledge of their unspoken destination causes concern, turning despair into affection and some very eccentric behaviour. The car stutters along to a bold, brilliant soundtrack of 1970s Iranian pop, full of heart, nostalgia and the melancholy of separation. Deftly navigating a sea of conflicting emotions, Panahi’s debut heralds an exciting new talent. This journey along the dusty road of life is a treasure that might just break your heart.
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