The son of acclaimed, embattled Iranian master filmmaker Jafar Panahi, and co-editor of his father’s 3 Faces (NYFF56), makes a striking feature debut with this charming, sharp-witted, and ultimately deeply moving comic drama. Hit the Road takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds unexpected twists and turns. With a tone that’s satisfyingly hard to pin down, Panahi follows a family of four—two middle-aged parents and their two sons, one a taciturn adult, the other a garrulous, hyperactive 6-year-old—as they drive across the Iranian countryside. Rather than rely on an episodic structure built around external encounters, Panahi keeps the focus on the psychological dynamics inside the car and at various stops along the way. The result is a film that gradually builds emotional momentum as it reveals the furtive purpose for their journey, and swings from comedy to tragedy en route with dexterity and force. A Kino Lorber release.

Support generously provided by:
Centre National du Cinéma et de L’Image Animée (CNC)
Cultural Services of the French Embassy