The Road to Patagonia Director Matty Hannon Talks About Living with the Land in This Interview

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As a young man, Matty Hannon explored the world, sinking roots in the Southeast Asian region. Here, he made lifelong friends, became part of families, and fostered a connection with the land that was ultimately severed when he had to return home to Australia to kick off a ‘career’. The towering metal structures that became the home for his monotonous office life played a major role in an emerging mental illness that saw Matty at a crossroads: continue on with this corporate career life and possibly lose a sense of himself, or seek a future where he lives with, learns from, and embraces the land that we live alongside. 

So begins his Road to Patagonia, the title given to Matty’s documentary about his journey from Alaska to Patagonia, a 50,000km trek that sees him encountering magnificent surfing locations, wildlife of all kinds, a bond with a group of horses who help on his journey, and a romance which changes his life. 

The Road to Patagonia is deliberately meditative film, and as such, it becomes a soothing experience as viewers learn from the people who live with the lands Matty and his partner Heather Hillier trek along. This is not some kind of ‘white cultural tourist’ narrative either, as Matty and Heather never seek to become saviours or people who co-opt the lifestyles of the people they meet, instead seeking to join the wavelength of the spiritual harmony that the people they meet exude. 

There’s an optimism to The Road to Patagonia that comes across with the way Matty Hannon talks about his life. In the following interview, Matty talks about the challenges he faced making the film, and what he has been able to implement into his modern life in the Byron Bay region. 

The Road to Patagonia and Matty Hannon are heading around Australia on a national tour until 19 April 2024, before launching in cinemas nationally on 2 May 2024. Visit here for more details.

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Andrew F Peirce

Andrew is passionate about Australian cinema, Australian politics, Australian culture, and Australia in general. Found regularly talking online about Sweet Country, and reminding people to watch Young Adult.

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