The striking first feature film of director/writer Panah Panahi (the son of the great filmmaker Jafar Panahi, currently prevented from making films or leaving Iran) is set in the vast desert spaces and verdant valleys of North West Iran.
A middle-aged couple Khosro (Hassan Madjuni) who has a leg in a plaster cast, and his wife (Pantea Panahita) have sold their house and car and hit the road in a borrowed SUV. They are headed for the border with Farid (Amin Samiar), their 20 year old sullen and uncommunicative son, who needs to leave the country because he has committed a crime.
Along with them on the ride are six year old (an instant star, Rayan Sarlak) who is cute, but hyperactive, and a dog on its last legs. They are guided by disguised men on motor bikes who give vague directions.
Parting with one of their own on a long car journey brings laughter and tears as the family try to keep their spirits up, and try not to get on each other’s nerves. And the irrepressible nature of the youngest son is a distraction from the plight of the family.
The film quietly comments on Iranian society. It is beautifully filmed by Amin Jafari and the actors are exemplary.
Spoken in Farci with English sub-titles.
Showing at Somerville Nedlands at 7.30pm until Sunday 27thMarch.
Watch the trailer…