Sequoia 2 Thu, Oct 11, 2018 8:30 PM
Sequoia 1 Fri, Oct 12, 2018 11:45 AM
Film Info
Section:World Cinema
Running Time:101 min.
Director:Christian Petzold
Producer:Florian Koerner von Gustorf
Michael Weber
Screenwriter:Christian Petzold
Cinematographer:Hans Fromm bak
Editor:Bettina Böhler
Cast:Franz Rogowski
Paula Beer
Godehard Giese
Lilien Batman
Print Source:Music Box Films
Note Writer:Peter L. Stein


A refugee who has escaped from a prison camp in wartime France, Georg assumes the identity of a dead writer in a desperate attempt to flee to safer shores from the transit port of Marseilles. The ruse brings Georg (Franz Rogowski, In the Aisles, MVFF 2018) into a complicated triangle with the writer’s wife and her lover, all caught in the narrowing noose of a hostile occupation. Despite this classic thriller set-up—the story is based on Anna Seghers' 1942 novel of the same name, and the film at times self-consciously echoes Casablanca—savvy director Christian Petzold (Phoenix) boldly resists telling his story as a standard period intrigue. Instead, by shooting Transit in contemporary Marseilles, dressing his characters and sets in a modern idiom, and narrating Georg’s story through an after-the-fact voiceover, Petzold brilliantly creates a kind of timeless purgatory where the plights of refugees, from all eras and lands, start to overlap and blur.

Additional Information

Born in 1960, Christian Petzold studied German philology and theater at the Free University of Berlin and directing at the German Film and Television Academy Berlin, after which he worked as an assistant director for Harun Farocki and Hartmut Bitomsky. For his 2012 feature Barbara, he was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director at Berlinale. As with Barbara, his 2014 feature Phoenix was named one of the Top Five Foreign Language Films by the National Board of Review and received awards at numerous festivals.