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Germany, France · 2018
1h 41m
Director Christian Petzold
Starring Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese, Lilien Batman
Genre Drama

Set in 1942, this poignant story follows Georg, a German refugee in Nazi-occupied France, who is desperately looking for an escape. One day, he assumes the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying. Shortly thereafter, he meets Marie, a mysterious woman searching for her husband — the man whose identity he has stolen.

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Screen International by

Like all of his work, the writer/director’s fourth film in Berlinale competition is elegantly made, ingenious and intellectually challenging. Yet it’s also too much like hard work to be entirely satisfying and, dramatically, it suffers from the same condition as its protagonists: inertia.


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

There is no denying that, initially, Transit’s story might feel excessively oblique. But as the film slowly puts its formalistic and thematic cards on the table, it becomes clear that its storytelling technique is really just a reflection of its core themes.


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The result is a film that lucidly traces the specter of fascism (never extinguished, always waiting to exhale), and how unreal it feels for it to cast its shadow across Europe once more. It’s also a film that feels stuck between stations, so doggedly theoretical that it borders on becoming glib.


Variety by Guy Lodge

A refugee portrait that piles contrivance upon contrivance to somehow land at a place of piercing emotional acuity.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

Be prepared to be challenged by the glittering, allusive and often bewitching “Transit,” but also to be frustrated on discovering that even if you manage to piece it all together, in this particular crazy world the problems of three little people ultimately don’t amount to a hill of beans.


CineVue by Patrick Gamble

Petzold struggles to keep hold of the reigns, wielding the effects of melodrama with little to no precision or psychological acuity, and leaving the essential romance at the heart of the story to be rendered almost entirely unbelievable.

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