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462 Ratings


Directed by Christian Petzold
Germany, France, 2018


A 27-year old German is tasked with delivering a letter to a man named Weidel in Paris. He assumes the identity of a refugee named Seidler as he travels to Marseille, but he’s mistaken by the authorities as Weidel himself.

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Transit Directed by Christian Petzold
If Transit satirized today’s European art-film tendencies, it might have achieved the zeitgeist shock of Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux, but, instead, this movie proves that film culture at large has reached a stage where moviemakers and reviewers devote themselves to maundering and following social trends.
March 13, 2019
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Such characterizations don’t account for the heady, scintillating experience of actually viewing the thing. As it covers terrain that’s particularly, if not exclusively intellectual, Transit sets the mind aflame.
March 01, 2019
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Transit continues Petzold’s oblique yet shrewd examinations of the upheavals of the twentieth century (particularly those in his home country) and their lingering effects in the twenty-first.
March 01, 2019
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What are people saying?

  • Matthew Martens's rating of the film Transit

    The voice-over initially jarred (it comes out of nowhere, in medias res), soon baffled (why tell us what you're showing?), eventually came to seem like a sort of interestingly subtle underscoring of the divergence between life and art, and then finally, deflatingly, assumed the form of a tried-and-tired sleight of story. But three stars for these stars, their strangeness and charm, and for the whispersung abendlied.

  • Duncan Gray's rating of the film Transit

    Conceptually irresistible: the script for a WWII thriller transposed to the not-too-distant present, allowing old-fashioned story tropes, contemporary politics, incipient fascism, and narrative incongruity to nag away at you in some kind of eternal return. Petzold's weakness is still formal: his "the dystopia is now" spirit cries out for a less plain, more uncanny atmosphere. Godard visited Alphaville with less.

  • Loz Loory's rating of the film Transit

    Please remove the voiceover! Not sure if that was added for American audiences who might need their hands held... but it is clunky and unnecessary. We don't need to be told that the people are experiencing shame; the camera shows us that. Otherwise could have been a fabulous film, though the main female lead should be played by someone stronger. She should inhabit at least as much space as the woman with the dogs.

  • josé neves's rating of the film Transit

    Is memory so weak that the concomitance of different times in one must be considered so original? In fact, maybe everybody's talking about it because there's nothing left to find here but that and the ending, reminiscent of this filmmaker previous ghosts. Arte and Euroimages produced what they are and mean: the universal language of culture. Paula Beer's (weak) female character is like a Nina Hoss cliche.

  • OFF_FRAME's rating of the film Transit

    I love how Petzold bravely dislocates time, layering the past over the present with wardrobe and art department and a main plot that cleverly parallels events unfolding today in an effort to evoke empathy. I did feel that the story itself was clunky though and the weight of some of the relationships less believable. Bold stuff! 3.5 stars

  • Jason's rating of the film Transit

    TRANSIT presents a bracingly unique model for literary adaptation. The story is adapted like creatures adapt. A novel about its time and place becomes a speculative fiction (w/ added layer of Hollywood homage). It is speculative fiction with the sciencey stuff comprehensively subtracted. It's certainly the only Petzold that has ever made me think of Philip K. Dick. Humanity here is deeply somnolent, destiny ghastly.

  • Renton47's rating of the film Transit

    By evoking the past to comment on a present crisis (affecting different people than represented here) it lives in an oblique reality, further removed by its odd framing device. But the precision and clarity of the language endow a trust that I surrendered early in Transit. It conjures great philosophical and literary works of post-war life and suggests a remake of Casablanca populated only by ghosts.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Transit

    CINEMA, DCP _ This one borrows from "Phoenix" its tropes and motives : the question of identity, a person taken for another and a (mistaken) love story. This time the script is clumsy and repeats itself over again without adding to the drama. Petzold still cares a lot for his actors and Rogowski is an interesting face/voice but "Transit" is altogether a deception. The political background fades slowly into nothing.

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