The most internationally recognized member of the Berlin School of filmmakers, Christian Petzold and his frequent collaborator, Nina Hoss, have presented some of contemporary German cinema’s most phenomenal specimens. Having met on the 2001 television film Something to Remind Me, Hoss has since appeared in all of Petzold’s films except 2005’s Ghosts. Following their renowned breakout titles Barbara (which snagged Petzold Best Director at the 2012 Berlinale) and 2014’s Phoenix, (our video interview) Hoss’ absence will be keenly felt in his latest film, Transit, adapted from a 1944 novel by Anna Seghers. Starring Paula Beer, the lead in Francois Ozon’s cross-cultural Frantz (2016), and Franz Rogowski (of Haneke’s Happy End), Petzold returns to WWII identity horrors. When a young man flees France after the Nazi invasion, he assumes the identity of a dead author, whose papers he possesses. Stuck in Marseille, he happens to meet a young woman desperate to find her missing husband—they very man who he’s impersonating. To complicate matters, he begins to fall in love with her.
Release Date/Prediction: Like many German filmmakers, Petzold has had a difficult time breaking into Cannes despite his stellar filmography. With the critical success of Phoenix (and perhaps the notable responses to Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann in 2016) in mind, Transit may have a shot at competing on the Croisette. However, the film has been in post-production since early fall of 2017, so Berlin might also be a strong possibility.