Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese
New from acclaimed German director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Phoenix) comes this ambitious existential thriller in which he daringly conflates two time periods; adapting German-Jewish refugee Anna Segher’s 1942 novel ‘Transit’, which draws on her experiences during the war, but jarringly and innovatively transposing the action to the present day.
As fascism and terror spread through France, German refugee Georg (a brilliant Franz Rogowski) flees Paris and heads to Marseille, assuming the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying. Living among refugees from around the world, Georg falls for Marie (Paula Beer), a mysterious woman searching for her husband, while also befriending a young North African boy (Lilien Batman).
Blurring periods, Petzold explores the continued plight of displaced people, creating a kind of cinematic parallel universe that holds an uneasy mirror up to the present, in which we again face refugee crises, political divisions and the troubling rise of the far right. By turns intimate and expansive, Transit is a harrowing, haunting thriller that sounds an alarm against assumptions that progress is inevitable and the past is past.