From the archive
This film was last shown on 29 August 2019
New from acclaimed German director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Phoenix) comes this ambitious existential thriller, adapted from German-Jewish refugee Anna Segher’s 1942 novel ‘Transit’, written while she was in exile. Petzold daringly combines two time periods, bringing the action of Segher’s novel, which draws on her experiences during the war, to the present day.
As fascism and terror spread through France, German refugee Georg (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 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. Both intimate and expansive, Transit is a haunting thriller that sounds an alarm against assumptions that progress is inevitable and the past is past.
- Christian Petzold
- France, Germany
- 1 hour 42 minutes
- Franz Rogowski , Godehard Giese, Paula Beer