This is a repeating eventmarch 30, 2019 2:30 pm
The past and present are a terrifying blur in director Christian Petzold’s masterful Transit, a riveting and delicate new movie that closes out what he calls his “Love in
The past and present are a terrifying blur in director Christian Petzold’s masterful Transit, a riveting and delicate new movie that closes out what he calls his “Love in the Time of Oppressive Systems” trilogy (the other parts of which were the films Barbara and Phoenix). A study of identity, fear and courage, the film is based on a 1944 novel by Anna Seghers about the Nazi occupation of Paris during the Second World War. But Petzold chose to update the story to modern times, while also boldly choosing not to clarify the nature of the threat this time around — the viewer merely knows that people are being rounded up, that the security apparatus of the state is out of control, that the country is increasingly unsafe. There’s a sense of urgent dread that’s amplified by being undefined — it manifests as darkened cars and the shadow of violence and a discussion of things like travel papers. In a lot of ways it’s a noir movie, infused with a Casablanca-like mixture of romance and danger, but it’s painted in the bright and cheery light of southern France and structured in a timeless present.
In Paris, Georg (Franz Rogowski) is asked to take two pieces of correspondence to a writer named Weidel. When Georg gets to the hotel, he finds a bathroom covered in the blood of the man he was supposed to meet, who has committed suicide. In a panic he flees to Marseille, hoping to use that port city to transit further to Mexico, claiming the name of the dead Weidel and relying on a visa from the Mexican embassy. But a chance meeting with Weidel’s wife, and the death of his traveling companion, set him on a new path entirely.
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