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MSU Cinema International presents "Transit" This Week

Transit film poster
MSU Cinema International presents "Transit" on Thursday, February 24th, and Saturday, February 26th.

This week, Murray State's Cinema International program presents the German 2018 film Transit, directed by Christian Petzold. Tracy Ross speaks with program director Dr. Thérèse St. Paul and German professor Dr. Roxane Riegler about the upcoming screenings.

From the MSU Cinema International website:

"Past and present merge in this alluring puzzle from Christian Petzold, which follows Georg, a German refugee from fascism who flees to Marseille and assumes the identity of the dead writer whose transit papers he is carrying. Georg falls for Marie, the wife of the dead man whose identity he has stolen.

Adapted from Anna Segher's 1944 novel, Transit shifts the original story to the present, blurring periods to create a timeless exploration of the plight of displaced people."

St. Paul and Riegler agree that there is an overarching feeling of waiting in Transit. "They're not getting anywhere," Riegler elaborates. A somewhat unsettling, anachronistic backdrop emphasizes this feeling of waywardness.

"It's shot in today's Marseille, France. When you look at the police, they have their police gear and anti-terror gear. But the people are from the '40s," Riegler explains. "So, they're dressed in rather neutral clothes. They could be 21st-century, but also the '40s in Marseille. There are no cell phones, no laptops, so it is a little strange. That makes it very alluring. I think there's a reason behind it that [Petzold] wanted to point out—the situation of the refugees now."

Transit not only tells the parable of the exiled; it also highlights transformations within relationships. These transformations highlight persistent problems pertaining to immigrants and refugees over the past 80 years.

One character does not speak, which Riegler explains is a metaphor. "We don't listen to refugees. We actually close our eyes when it comes to their fate. We had a lot of empathy for Jewish immigrants and communist immigrants in the '40s, but nowadays, when you hear about refugees, they don't speak. They're speechless."

St. Paul repeats Petzold's commentary on his film's characters: "They're borderline phantoms, between life and death, yesterday and tomorrow."

MSU Cinema International presents Transit on Thursday, February 24th, and Saturday, February 26th. Both screenings are at 7:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Curris Center on Murray State's main campus. Screenings are free and open to the general public. Masks are required.

For more information on the MSU Cinema International program, visit its website.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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