Christian Petzold

Transit

Germany, France 2018
In German and French with Finnish and Swedish subtitles
101 min
Suitable for audiences aged 12 and above
Director: Christian Petzold
Screenplay: Christian Petzold
Cast: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese, Lilien Batman
Production: Antonin Dedet & Florian Koerner von Gustorf / Schramm Film
Print Source: Future Film

Christian Petzold’s (Barbara, EC 2012) existential noir is based on Anna Seghers’ novel Transit (1944). German Georg, like everyone else, wishes to leave France while it’s still possible. Before going, he gets hold of some personal belongings of an author who has commited suicide. Among them, he finds a new written work and a letter guaranteeing a visa.

Petzold isn’t making a historical epic here, as the temporal setting of the film isn’t made clear. There are no swastikas to be seen, and the sounds of sirens could just as well be from French street riots or the 2015 terrorist attacks, a time of national emergency in Paris.

Franz Rogowski as George is like a German Matti Pellonpää, a quietly charismatic man of the streets with a heart of gold.

Pasi Nyyssönen

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