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Tuesday, 05. 03. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

Transit Transit

Christian Petzold / Germany, France / 2018 / 101 min / French, German


Tuesday, 05. 03. 2019 / 17:00 / Main Hall

Early Bird: Festival at Five

An epic story about quiet hope, suppressed emotions and fatal encounters set in France under the Nazi occupation, Transit is a visually updated and socially relevant adaptation of a novel by Anna Seghers, masterfully interspersed with references to the iconic Casablanca.


The German troops are just outside Paris. Georg escapes to Marseille at the last moment. His luggage contains the legacy of a writer named Weidel, who took his own life out of fear of persecution. This legacy comprises a manuscript, some letters and the Mexican Embassy’s assurance of a visa. Only those who can prove that they will leave are allowed in this port town, and one needs an entry permit from a potential host country. Assuming the identity of Weidel, Georg tries to obtain one of the few scarce passages on a ship. But when Georg meets the mysterious Marie, his plans change.

“I don’t like it when the voice-over seems to be above everything else and in a God-like position /.../. That’s why I decided to have the story narrated by the barkeeper in the third person. He doesn’t con us so much as he tells the story like a bad witness would. /.../ He remembers things incorrectly, but by doing so he himself becomes part of the narrative. That was my idea – to also show the narrator’s longing and desires.” (Christian Petzold)

Christian Petzold
Born in Hilden in 1960. He first studied German language and literature as well as drama, followed by studies at the German Film and Television Academy in Berlin, during which time he was assistant director to Harun Farocki. He started out in his own right directing award-winning TV films, and made his first feature film, The State I Am In, in 2001. He has attained international renown as one of the most prominent young German filmmakers with Ghosts and Yella.

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