July 22, 2024


Showing: Wednesday, June 8, 8:00 PM
Year: 2021
Country: Iran
Genre: ,

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Hit the Road takes the tradition of the Iranian road-trip movie and adds some unexpected twists and turns. A family of four – two middle-aged parents and their sons, one a taciturn adult, the other a ebullient six-year-old – drive across the Iranian countryside. Over the course of the trip, they bond over memories of the past, grapple with fears of the unknown, and fuss over their sick dog. Unspoken tensions arise and as the film builds emotional momentum the furtive purpose for their journey is slowly revealed. The result is a humanist drama that offers an authentic, often comedic, and deeply sincere observation of an Iranian family preparing to part with one of their own. Iran, 2021, 93 minutes, unrated

The director, Panah Panahi, is the son and collaborator of embattled filmmaker Jafar Panahi (who is now forbidden from making films in Iran) and was apprentice to Iranian master Abbas Kiarostami. Hit the Road is a charming, sharp-witted, and deeply moving comic drama and a striking feature film debut. It played in both the Cannes and New York Film Festivals.

Stay for a discussion after the film with Brooklyn Demme. In 2001 Rivertown Film presented The White Balloon, a film made by Jafar Panahi (the father of the director of Hit the Road), at the suggestion of Jonathan Demme, who discussed it with the audience. Rivertown Film screened Brooklyn’s film, “Akuy Eenda Maawehlaang: The Place Where People Gather” as part of Rockland in Motion in 2020.

“In real life, you might not want to be stuffed into a car with these people — and let’s not forget their dog, Jesse — on a dusty stretch of Iranian highway, but from the first jokey moments of “Hit the Road” until its heartbreaking end you will not want to be anywhere else.” Critic’s Pick! – The New York Times

“A lovable and affecting crowd-pleaser with universal appeal and real potential to become a word-of-mouth hit.” – Indiewire

“A stunningly assured road movie.“ – Sight & Sound

“An exquisitely controlled yet diverting blend of pre-mourning and in-the-moment pleasures, a tonal blend of miraculous balance for a first-time filmmaker.” – Los Angeles Times

“Its 93 minutes whip by so airily, it’s possible not to realize how much you’ve learned to love the family whose road trip you’ve shared in, until the credits roll and you immediately start to miss them.” – Variety

“For this family hurtling forward to parts unknown, the final destination is a farewell. For audiences — particularly those of us who still believe in the movies, and their power to open eyes and touch hearts and break down cultural barriers and find common humanistic ground — the last stop is bliss.” – Rolling Stone