'Transit' Trailer: Filmmaker Christian Petzold’s Unique Film Tackles Life In A Modern-Day Occupied France

At first glance, you might assume that the new film “Transit” is a story about France in the 1940s during the time of German occupation. But then a modern police van is seen, the officers are using contemporary riot gear, and everything just looks so…new. And thus you begin to see just why director Christian Petzold’s film is such a mind-boggling affair.

In the new trailer for “Transit,” which is based on the acclaimed 1942 novel of the same name from author Anna Segher, you meet a young man named Georg who, through some wacky coincidences, finds himself in possession of transit papers that will allow him to flee occupied France. However, along the way, he meets a mysterious woman, comes into possession of the last manuscript of a dead writer, and finds himself in all sorts of other danger. Sounds pretty much like a typical WWII film set in Europe, yeah? Wrong.

READ MORE: ‘Transit’ Is Christian Petzold’s Confounding Take On ‘Casablanca’ [Berlin Review]

The twist about “Transit” (which may or may not stretch your imagination to its breaking point) is that the film is set in modern-day France. Well, at least some version of modern-day France. Technology is all sorts of confusing, as the police have the aforementioned present-day gear, but the typewriters, passports, and other such equipment are decidedly mid-century.

That being said, “Transit” is a film that caught the attention of many after it’s 2018 film festival tour, including stops in Berlin, TIFF, and the New York Film Festival. It would appear that despite its odd story and setting, “Transit” is a film you should probably check out.

“Transit” will be released in select theaters on March 1.

Here’s the synopsis:

As fascism spreads, German refugee Georg (Franz Rogowski) flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying. Living among refugees from around the world, Georg falls for Marie (Paula Beer), a mysterious woman searching for her husband–the man whose identity he has stolen. Adapted from Anna Segher’s 1942 novel, the film transposes the original story to the present, blurring periods to create a timeless exploration of the plight of displaced people.