Celebrated auteur Christian Petzold captures the plight of a man attempting to escape Nazi-occupied France under a false pseudonym, only it isn’t during WWII— it’s now.
In one of the most subtly transgressive films of the year, German master of cinema Christian Petzold (PHOENIX) daringly adapts the seminal Holocaust novel by Anna Seghers for modern times by tackling the European refugee crisis and rising fascist sentiments. Tasked with transporting an injured underground author to Marseilles in Nazi-occupied France, Georg (Franz Rogowski, HAPPY END) reluctantly becomes part of the resistance. But when the author dies in transit, the Jewish refugee readily assumes the author’s nom de plume with his identification papers and travel visas in hand. As he mines the Kafkaesque, bureaucratic mess of the US and Mexican consulates, Georg finds himself amongst expats, refugees, criminals, and most importantly, the striking Marie (Paula Beer, PFF25’s FRANTZ), who with her lover, seeks to flee the country for Mexico on the next boat out. As they become more entrenched in transit limbo, Georg makes a discovery about the doting Marie that could put all of them in jeopardy. Georg and Marie, like the ill-fated lovers of Casablanca, may very well never escape their personal purgatory, but they’ll always have Marseilles in this surreal drama from this year’s Berlinale.
CAST: Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer, Godehard Giese, Lilien Batman
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