Marseille, the summer of 1940: thousands of people are looking for a way out of Europe, scrambling for visas and hoping to get a place on one of the few transits overseas. Their number includes a young German: having escaped a labour camp near Rouen with false papers, he too is now stranded in the crowded city. Here he meets Marie and falls in love with her. The young woman is looking for her husband, after the two became separated when the Germans invaded Paris. She doesn’t know that her husband is dead — and that this young escapee, of all people, happens to have assumed his identity.
Anna Seghers, who herself fled from the Nazis, impressively details in her famous novel what it’s like to be in a state of transit — still a bitter reality for millions of people today.
Director Koohestani reads Transit while painfully aware of his experiences during the pandemic, where real-life encounters have largely been replaced by virtual ones. The characters in desperate situations get lost within an anonymous system that issues visas, permits and passports seemingly at random, and which rejects contact with real people. The embassy, always seen as a safe haven for those in transit, has become a black box. People are more blind to their fate than ever before.
The Iranian director and scriptwriter Amir Reza Koohestani, born in 1978 in Shiraz, Iran, has presented his work at festivals all over the world with his MEHR THEATRE GROUP and is now a much sought-after star director in Germany whose shows are performed at major venues, such as MÜNCHNER KAMMERSPIELE and DEUTSCHES THEATER BERLIN. His own adaptation of Transit at KUNSTFEST WEIMAR will be performed by the THALIA THEATER HAMBURG ensemble.