Hit the Road - English subtitled

A road movie by Panah Panahi (son of grandmaster Jafar) that is both hilarious and poignant, about a family that drives through vast Iranian landscapes with an unclear destination.

Time & Tickets

Cars play an important role in Iranian cinema. They fulfil the function of a ‘safe space’, a place where people are free and not controlled by the authoritarian Iranian regime. HIT THE ROAD follows a family – a taciturn adult son behind the wheel, mother in the passenger seat, father with one leg in plaster and an untameable six-year-old bouncing ball in the back seat – as they drive their car through a rugged landscape. The family bicker about Batman, Lance Armstrong and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. The mother tries to keep the mood light, but it gradually becomes clear that this is not a jolly family outing.

Panah Panahi is the son of Jafar Panahi (TAXI TEHERAN, OFFSIDE, THE CIRCLE), the Iranian director who has been banned from working in his country. There are similarities between the work of father and son, but at the same time the deliciously impetuous HIT THE ROAD is clearly the work of a director with his own voice.

Panah Panahi, Iran, 2021, 93 min. English & Persian spoken, English subtitles. With Pantea Panahiha, Hasan Majuni, Rayan Sarlak, Amin Simiar, Masoud Tosifyan.

On July 8, Mohammad Rasoulof, director of THERE IS NO EVIL, and his colleague Mostafa Al-Ahmad were arrested. They were taken to an unknown location, their producers stated via Twitter. Three days later, director Jafar Panahi, the father of Panah Panahi, director of HIT THE ROAD, was also arrested. These actions fit into an ongoing campaign of terror by Iran's rulers. Filmmakers like Rasoulof and Panahi have been harassed for years under the guise of 'propaganda against the system'. Rasoulof and Panahi were also locked up in their own homes during a year in 2010. The reason was Rasoulof's plan to make a film about the protests of the Green Movement, but officially the charge was 'filming without a permit'. They've also been prohibited to travel abroad for years. In 2019, Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison, after which he managed to complete THERE IS NO EVIL. The filmmaker appealed to the sentence and due to the corona crisis, the case is still in process.