Transit by Anna Seghers – Screen Adaptations & Reading Group

Man looking out a window with a grid Fluchtweg nach Marseille, ©Ingemo Engström, Gerhard Theuring, 1977

The Essay Film Festival and the Goethe-Institut are pleased to present the restoration of the film Escape Route to Marseille (Fluchtweg nach Marseille, 1977), directed by Ingemo Engström and Gerhard Theuring, which is based on the novel Transit by Anna Seghers. Completed in 1942, first published in English and in Spanish in 1944, and eventually in Germany in 1948, it was inspired by the author’s own experience of fleeing from Nazi Germany. Now considered one of the greatest examples of exile literature, it is an existential, political and literary thriller that explores with extraordinary compassion and insight the agonies of boredom, the vitality of storytelling, and the plight of refugees.
Leading up to the screening of Escape Route to Marseille on 4 April, we are organising a reading group to explore some of the themes raised by Seghers's book and the cultural and historical context in which it was written.
To further complement the screening of Escape Route to Marseille we are also showing Transit, Christian Petzold’s 2018 adaptation of Seghers’s novel.
This series of screenings and reading group sessions follows on from last year's presentation of Film Emigration from Nazi Germany (1975) by Günter Peter Straschek also jointly presented by the Essay Film Festival and the Goethe-Institut.
In collaboration with the Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) and the Essay Film Festival
With the support of CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.