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Transit Image


Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema

With occupying forces closing in on Paris, a haunted refugee named Georg (Franz Rogowski, Germany’s Joaquin Phoenix) assumes a dead writer’s identity—and, more importantly, transit papers—and flees to Marseille in hopes of sailing safely to Mexico. However, he soon becomes entangled in the lives of the other desperate souls who’ve been left behind, including the widow (Paula Beer) of the man he’s posing as.

Liberally adapting the Second World War-set novel by Anna Seghers, Christian Petzold (Phoenix) masterfully conjures a fever dream-fuelled, noir-tinged romantic thriller that’s equally indebted to Casablanca and current affairs. And while Transit could likely content itself—and audiences—with simply being a high-concept exercise in skilfully colouring outside the temporal lines, Petzold mounts an existential adventure film that sets the synapses firing with its imagination and quickens the pulse with its plot twists.

"[Petzold’s] most conceptually daring film to date… This could as easily be the past, as viewed through a hall of mirrors, or an apocalyptic near-future, positioning the events on screen either as recontextualized history or timely cautionary tale… [This is] a film that shivers with the awareness of absence, distance and the relentless, elastic course of time’s arrow."—Guy Lodge, Variety

Country of Origin: Germany/France
Year: 2018
Running Time: 101 mins
Format: DCP
Classification: PG - Coarse language; violence
Language:In German, French with English subtitles
Related Links: Trailer | Variety Review
Cast: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese
Producer: Florian Koerner von Gustorf, Michael Weber
Cinematographer: Hans Fromm
Editor: Bettina Böhler
Music: Stefan Will
Production Company: Schramm Film, Koerner & Weber
Distributor: Films We Like


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