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Fleeing from German-occupied Paris to the port city of Marseille and assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer, a refugee meets a young woman desperate to find her missing husband—the man whose identity he has stolen—in TRANSIT, the haunting new thriller-drama from acclaimed filmmaker Christian Petzold. In writer/director Petzold's TRANSIT, a haunting modern-day adaptation of Anna Seghers's 1942 novel, Transit Visa, Georg (Franz Rogowski, Happy End), a German refugee, flees German-occupied Paris to the port city of Marseille, there assuming the identity of a recently deceased writer whose transit papers he is carrying. In Marseille, Georg delves into the delicate and complex culture of the refugees, who congregate in the corridors of a small hotel, in the waiting room of consulates, in cafés, and in bars in the harbor. He also becomes enmeshed in the lives of a young mother and son and falls for Marie (Paula Beer, Frantz), a mysterious woman who is searching for her missing husband—the man who Georg is impersonating.
"The people in TRANSIT have been cornered in Marseille, waiting for ships, visas, and further passage. They're on the run—there's no way back for them, and no way forward. Nobody will take them in or care for them. They go unnoticed—except by the police, the collaborators, and security cameras. They're borderline phantoms, between life and death, yesterday and tomorrow," notes filmmaker Petzold of his latest film, which puts a surreal spin on the Casablancastory, seasoned with dashes of Kafka and Vertigo-era Hitchcock. "They long for a story of their own and discover the fragment of a novel left behind by an author, the fragment of a narrative about flight, love, guilt, and loyalty. TRANSIT is a story about how these people turn this narrative into their own."