Through a complex arrangement of narrative techniques and aesthetic styles, Christian Petzold’s eight theatrical features comprise a filmography in which the ghost realms of Germany and Europe inhabit and embody a liminal space: a present-tense edgelands territory haunted by their past, their ongoing search for identity is predicated on the notion of doublings and splits, and on the contingencies of simultaneity. Petzold’s work is defined by a curiously hybrid approach to the geographically specific: just as his characters often signify culturally specific referents at the same time as being stripped-down to the point of abstraction, his films re all rooted in the particularities of location and yet express, at the same time, an anywhere-ness. By emphasising the double both within and across films, Petzold’s cinema thrives on the notion of rhyme: his is an oeuvre based on reworking and reconfiguration—a feature that finds its logical summation in his most recent film, Transit (2018).

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