Panah Panahi, son of the great Iranian director Jafar Panahi, forever embattled with the government and currently under house arrest, makes a striking feature debut with this charming and deeply moving road movie. HIT THE ROAD expands on the genre, following a family of four–two middle-aged parents and their sons, one a taciturn adult, the other an exuberant six-year-old–as they 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. In true Panahi fashion, things are left unsaid at the end of the film as tensions rise amongst our characters, revealing a secret purpose for their journey. The result is a humanist drama that offers an authentic, raw, and deeply sincere observation of an Iranian family preparing to part with one of their own. In a way, by leaving things unsaid with story threads in the ether, could very well be a bold political statement in itself–Here, the details don’t matter as much as their heartbreaking consequences: the irreversibly burdened families unfairly torn away from their loved ones, and a society that carries those scars.