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1,996 Ratings


Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, France, 2018
  • German
  • English


As a modern-day Paris is invaded by foreign troops, German refugee Georg flees to Marseille assuming the identity of a deceased writer. There he delves into the delicate culture of the refugee community, becomes involved in the lives of a mother and son, and meets the writer’s enigmatic wife Marie.

Our take

Christian Petzold (Barbara) boldly transforms Anna Seghers’ WW2 novel into a haunting period film set in an ambiguous present. A stirring melodrama of love during oppression, Transit is every bit as scintillating as Casablanca, thanks in part to the outstanding duo of Franz Rogowski and Paula Beer.

Transit Directed by Christian Petzold
By turns intimate and expansive, “Transit” is a thrilling, at times harrowing labyrinth of a movie. Petzold draws from both the traditional European art film and the mainstream commercial cinema without embracing their orthodoxies.
February 28, 2019
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What does all of this merging of past and present, Germany and Europe, Phoenix (and Yella) and Casablanca . . . , and Petzold’s biography . . . amount to? Nothing less, I submit, than a unique cinematic narrative mode that creates the conditions of possibility for reimagining ways of thinking through the historical past without treating it as past, the historical present without treating it as present.
March 21, 2018
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Like a Fritz Lang film, Transit is plotted relentlessly, but Petzold, as is his style, keeps the mise en scène and perspective spartan to a razor’s edge of alienating. From this comes the vivid sense that each twist and turn of events is not just about narrative surprise, but that the film is making greater points—of ideology, of politics, and reflective ones about how cinema relates to reality—along a story path mined at every angle with meaning.
February 25, 2018
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