classified 12A PS

Please note: This was screened in Aug 2019

Christian Petzold
Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese
102 mins, Partially Subtitled, 2018, Germany | France
Primary language
German | French | French Sign Language

Pioneering German director Christian Petzold (Phoenix, Barbara) returns with this experimental historical thriller starring Franz Rogowski as Georg, a German refugee fleeing persecution from Nazi-occupied France by assuming the identity of a recently deceased author.

Adapted from Anna Segher’s novel Transit Visa, but offering a more current, historically ambiguous setting, we meet Georg as he escapes to Marseille, a port for migrants fleeing an unspecified war. He has adopted a dead man’s identity, and while waiting for a boat, meets a mysterious woman (Paula Beer) desperately hoping for news of her missing husband.

Described as “like a remake of Casablanca as written by Kafka”, past and present is infused to fascinating effect, offering a haunting, beguiling depiction of fascism and the struggles faced by refugees. This is a film about ghosts, memory, trauma - and the longing we all have for a place to call home.