Christian Petzold directs Franz Rogowski, Paula Beer and Godehard Giese in this period-bending WWII thriller set in modern day Marseille, where refugees try to gain passage, visas and transits on ships before occupying forces “cleanse” their port.
A cracking thriller / romance with the existential attitude and atmosphere of a Camus story. Though based on Anna Seghers’s 1944 novel (and I would assume relatively faithfully), this is filmed as though set in 2018. The clothes and props are often period, the technology and locations unashamedly current, the dialogue and political backdrop ambiguous. Rather than taking you out of the human drama and the oppressive fatalism of the refugees’ plight, it actually makes you engage with parallels of today’s geopolitics and the tragedies of the past. Rogowski and Beer make for a pairing almost as attractive and alluring as Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca. Effective and gripping.
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