date festival
Poster of the Festival


Christian Petzold

© Schramm Film

Christian Petzold
2018 - Germany / France - 1h41

Screenings : tuesday 23 - 2:00 pm - 400 Coups - 5 friday 26 - 4:45 pm - 400 Coups - 5
German troops are fast approaching Paris. Georg, a German refugee, escapes to Marseille in the nick of time. In his luggage, he carries the documents of an author, Weidel, who has taken his own life in fear of his persecutors. These documents include a manuscript, letters, and visa from the Mexican embassy. Everything changes when Georg falls in love with the mysterious Marie. Is it devotion or calculation that has led her to share her life with a doctor, Richard, before journeying on in search of her husband? He is said to have surfaced in Marseille in possession of a Mexican visa for him and his wife.
Published for the first time in 1944, Transit was originally a novel by Anna Seghers recommended to Christian Petzold by his mentor Harun Farocki. “Harun was born in the Sudetenland, at a time when his parents were escaping, and I think that he has always tried to rediscover a reference to the 1920s, to authors like Franz Jung, Georg Glaser or Anna Seghers. Everything that existed before fascism, deep down, is like a lost country And Transit is a book written at a moment of transition between the two”. (Christian Petzold) Petzold was not interested in the idea of making a period drama. “There are refugees all over the world, we are living in a Europe where nationalism is again raising its head (...). I simply tried to represent to myself what would happen if I showed the movements of refugees in the Marseille of today, but without problematising them. And this didn't trouble me at all. (...) And I was troubled by the fact that it didn't trouble me. That meant that for me attempts to escape, the anguish, the trauma, the stories of the people who were stuck in Marseille 70 years ago are immediately understandable. There is absolutely no need for any explanation. I was surprised by this.” “In fact, it is less the ‘manhunt' which grips us, than the stupefaction of characters, as if prisoners in the original time of their arrival (1942), in suddenly finding themselves involved in a present reality they are experiencing without noticing. This is what is striking about certain details, particularly the shots filmed using CCTV which cut in between the scene of the first meeting of the hero and Marie, in front of the metro station: (…) these short shots, flattening out the contours and the colours, put into pictures a certain indifference of the crowd to the fate of these ‘refugees' and inversely.” (Maël Mubalegh; Critikat) It was when looking at the dailies of François Ozon's Frantz that Christian Petzold chose Paula Beer: “Paula is 22, I don't know where she finds that maturity. She has an experience of life and at the same time a juvenile charm that I've never seen before.”

Cast : Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Jean-Pierre Daroussin, Godehard Giese, Lilien Batman, Maryam Zaree, Barbara Auer
Screenplay : Christian Petzold
Cinematography : Hans Fromm
Sound : Andreas Mücke-Niesytka
Editing : Bettina Böhler
Music : Stefan Will

Production : Schramm Film, Neon Productions, Arte France Cinéma

French distributor : Les Films du Losange