Transit (2018)

# 16181 IMDb Not Rated 

Transit (2018

taglineThe New Masterwork from the Director of Phoenix and Barbara

Director: Christian Petzold

Stars: Justus von Dohnányi, Franz Rogowski, Barbara Auer, Paula Beer, Matthias Brandt

Drama, Sci-Fi (1h 41min)

Germany Germany, France France

Rated 7.0 after 5,575 votes, 82% postive reviews on 05-Feb-20.

6 wins & 21 nominations


A man attempting to escape occupied France falls in love with the wife of a dead author whose identity he has assumed.


Christian Petzold (director) Franz Rogowski Paula Beer Godehard Giese Maryam Zaree Barbara Auer Matthias Brandt

Franz Rogowski (Georg), Paula Beer (Marie), Godehard Giese (Richard), Lilien Batman (Driss), Maryam Zaree (Melissa), Barbara Auer (Architect / Frau), Matthias Brandt (Barmann / Erzähler), Sebastian Hülk (Paul), Emilie de Preissac (Chambermaid in Paris Hotel), Antoine Oppenheim (Binnet), Louison Tresallet (Jean Binnet), Justus von Dohnányi (Conductor), Alex Brendemühl (Mexican Consul), Trystan Pütter (American Consul), Ronald Kukulies, Agnès Regolo, Thierry Otin, Grégoire Monsaingeon, Elisa Voisin, Brahim El Abdouni (as Brahim Elabdouni), Jean-Jérôme Esposito, Stina Soliva

From the same director


Christian Petzold (adaptation), Anna Seghers (novel)

Produced by

Antonin Dedet (producer), Florian Koerner von Gustorf (producer), Olivier Père (co-producer), Andreas Schreitmüller (commissioning editor: arte), Caroline von Senden (commissioning editor: ZDF)



Transit is based on a 1944 novel by Anna Seghers, in turn based on her experiences as a German Jewish Communist political refugee in Marseilles trying to get out of Vichy France to Mexico. The protagonist is a German illegally in France, who travels from Paris to Marseilles, through chance assumes the identity of a dead German leftist writer who has an exit visa to Mexico, and finds himself involved with both the writer's estranged wife and the wife and son of a fellow German illegal.

What made the movie work for me is that it is not a routine World War II vintage costume drama. Director-Writer Christian Petzold has chosen to set the entire story in present day France. There are no Nazis, no swastikas, and no political explanations. There are only the omnipresent French police checking papers in the street, raiding hotels and apartments, and rounding up illegal aliens for deportation to an unnamed destination, assisted by good French citizens either venal or patriotic, and the desperate struggle of the refugees to procure legitimate identity and travel documents in the face of bureaucratic indifference or hostility. It all feels like it could be happening six months from now, there or, for that matter, here. The contemporary setting greatly increases the tension by taking away historical cues -- you have no idea how it is going to come out or whether the hero will make his getaway to Mexico.

Memorable quotes

Marie: Who forgets faster, the Abandoned or the, who left him?

8 total 


According to Christian Petzold, Transit is the last chapter of his trilogy called "Love in Times of Oppressive Systems". The trilogy also includes Barbara (2012) and Phoenix (2014).

5 total 


6 wins & 21 nominations 
Bavarian Film Awards • Berlin International Film Festival • Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema • Chicago Film Critics Association Awards • Chicago International Film Festival • Dublin International Film Festival • Faro Island Film Festival • Film by the Sea International Film Festival • Florida Film Critics Circle Awards • German Film Awards • German Film Critics Association Awards • Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Awards • Guenter Rohrbach Filmpreis • Indiewire Critics' Poll • International Cinematographers' Film Festival Manaki Brothers • Jerusalem Film Festival • Lisbon & Estoril Film Festival • National Board of Review, USA • North Carolina Film Critics Association • Nuremberg Film Festival "Turkey-Germany" • Portland International Film Festival • San Diego Film Critics Society Awards • San Francisco Film Critics Circle • Sydney Film Festival

Other titles

Transit ((original title); Argentina; Australia; Austria; Canada (French title); Canada (English title); Chile; France; Germany; Ireland; Israel (Hebrew title); New Zealand; Romania; Turkey (Turkish title); UK; USA) • Em Trânsito (Brazil; Portugal) • Транзит (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title); Russia; Ukraine) • Tranzit (Hungary; Romania (alternative title)) • La donna dello scrittore (Italy) • 未来を乗り換えた男 (Japan (Japanese title)) • En tránsito (Mexico; Spain) • Tranzyt (Poland)



Argentina:13 / Australia:MA15+ / Austria:12 / Brazil:12 / Canada:PG / Canada:PG / Canada:PG / Canada:G / Chile:TE+7 / Denmark:11 / Finland:K-12 / Germany:12 / Hungary:16 / Ireland:12A / Italy:T / Japan:G / Mexico:B / Netherlands:16 / New Zealand:M / Norway:12 / Portugal:M/12 / Singapore:PG13 / Spain:12 / Sweden:11 / Switzerland:12 / Taiwan:PG-12 / Turkey:13+ / United Kingdom:12A / United States:Not Rated



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