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About the Film

A hollowed-out European refugee (Franz Rogowski), escapes two concentration camps to arrive in Marseille, where he assumes the identity of a dead novelist whose papers he is carrying. Entering the arid, threadbare world of the refugee community, he becomes enmeshed in the lives of a desperate young mother and son and a mysterious woman searching for her husband—the very man he impersonates. TRANSIT is a film told in two tenses: 1940 and right now—the historic past collides with the immediate present. It’s a brilliant and haunting adaptation of German novelist Anna Seghers’s 1944 book.
Petzold’s brazen decision to eschew historical restorations of sets and costumes, and instead, position his actors in contemporary Marseilles, fuses the past and present to fascinating and provocative effect.

Director Bio

TRANSIT is director Christian Petzold’s fifteenth feature film. He is probably the best-known filmmaker of the Berlin School of filmmaking, and is known for putting the present in conversation with the historical past. Previous films such as BARBARA (2012) and PHOENIX (2014) gained acclaim on the international film festival circuit.

transit poster

Film Details:

Director: Christian Petzold
Country: Germany, France
Language: French, German, sign language w/subtitles
Running Time: 101m
Year: 2018
Genre: Narrative
Rating/Warning: R


  • Refugee
  • literary adaptation