CIFF 2021- “Hit the Road” Is the Best Directorial Debut of the Year: Film Capsule Review

Move aside Green Book! Panah Panahi’s Hit the Road is the most emotionally-impactful road trip films of recent memory and quite possibly the best directorial debut of the year. A slightly mysterious family road trip across the rugged Iranian landscape proves to be fertile ground for heart, humor, and pangs of sorrow.

The extreme wide, unbroken takes force you to stare into the souls of each family member and in doing so, allows you window into their deepest fears and desires. As the camera remains unmoved for minutes at a time, you’ll feel compelled to scour every inch of the screen, struggling to remember every memory from this cinematic expedition as you wander out of the theater in awe-struck befuddlement.

The Silver Lining

Hit the Road features an incredible quartet of actors. Pantea Panahiha and Hasan Majuni stun as the mother and father who try to maintain their composure for their sweetly annoying younger child, played by the adorable Rayan Sarlak, and their solemn eldest, played by Amin Simiar. Their playful bickering, soulful sing-a-longs, and silent emotional moments make them truly feel like a real family.

Hit the Road is a part of the Chicago International Film Festival’s 2021 lineup. Buy your tickets for the in-person (Monday, Oct. 18) or virtual (now until Oct. 24th) screenings now!

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