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HIT THE ROAD is a triumphant debut feature from Panah Panahi, son and collaborator of renowned Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi who was banned from filmmaking and imprisoned by the Iranian government for his critique of the unjust regime. Demonstrating ‘his father’s subtle touch for interpersonal dynamics’, Panahi has crafted an award-winning drama that follows a chaotic, tender family on a road trip across the rugged Iranian landscape.
Dad (Hassan Madjooni) sits moodily in the back with an ostensibly broken leg, while Mom (Pantea Panahiha) drives and tries to laugh when she’s not holding back tears. An energetic youngster (Rayan Sarlak, in a star-making performance) keeps exploding into song and scrambling around the car. All are fussing over their sick dog and incessantly bickering; only the taciturn older brother (Amin Simiar) is quiet, seemingly haunted by something. As they squabble, slowly the melancholy layers to the trip are revealed and answers to the question: where are they headed?
Its subtle and often humorous delivery of delicate moments are infused with urgent political meaning and the intricate dynamics of family connection and separation. With stellar performances from its stars as universally relatable family banter, Panahi’s beautifully composed story is an instant classic.
Thursday 25th August
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Pantea Panahiha, Hassan Madjooni, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar
Persian with English subtitles
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