2018 | 101 minutes | Rated NR
The “gimmick” with Transit is pretty simple: It’s based on a World War II novel, but it’s set in the present day, without further explanation. German director Christian Petzold (Phoenix) could be saying something about borders, refugees, displacement, and resistance, but here the personal outweighs the political, and the result lands somewhere between Kafka and Hitchcock. Fleeing from occupied Paris to the port of Marseille, Georg (Franz Rogowski) assumes the identity of a dead author, and comes into the orbit of his widow and a young, fatherless boy. There’s paranoia and purgatory, but like the best of film noir, the twists and turns are elevated by an inescapable emotional undercurrent.