In Transit (film)

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In Transit
Directed by Tom Roberts
Produced by Jimmy de Brabant
Michael Dounaev
Kami Naghdi
Written by Natalia Portnova
Simon van der Borgh
Starring Thomas Kretschmann
John Malkovich
Daniel Brühl
Ingeborga Dapkunaite
Vera Farmiga
Yevgeni Mironov
Music by Dan Jones
Cinematography Sergei Astakhov
Edited by Paul Carlin
Distributed by Peach Arche Films
Release dates
  • March 4, 2008 (2008-03-04) (Russia)
  • May 31, 2010 (2010-05-31) (UK)
Running time 113 minutes
Country Russia
United Kingdom
Language English

In Transit (originally titled In Tranzit) is a 2008 Russian-British film based on the true story of German prisoners of war in a Soviet work camp after World War II. The film was directed by Tom Roberts, and starring Thomas Kretschmann, John Malkovich, Daniel Brühl, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Vera Farmiga and Yevgeni Mironov.[1]


The film tells the story of German prisoners of war who are mistakenly taken to a Soviet transit women's prison, which temporarily contains women before they are sent to the Gulag. The prison's wardens are women, who want to take revenge on the German soldiers who killed their loved ones during the war. As time passes, the female wardens overcome their hatred for the prisoners and begin to treat them as ordinary people, including engaging in intimate relationships with them. A major theme is the Soviet search for SS officers among the German POWs. The film neglects to mention that many SS men had their blood type tattooed on their arms to allow for swift blood transfusions and so SS men were often easy to identify, see the article SS blood group tattoo.



Principal photography took place in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Release and reception[edit]

The film was sold at the Cannes Film Market in 2007 and was not subject to theatrical release thereafter. It was released via Direct-to-DVD in 2008 in Russia, the United States, Netherlands and Japan. It was similarly released in 2010 in Australia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and the United Kingdom. A further Direct-to-DVD release was distributed in Belgium in 2011.[2]

The film was described by one critic as one where "strong acting helps overcome a meandering, but unpredictable plot. It is a solid international cast, and a story that, while not compelling, will keep you guessing right up to the end. It has an air of authenticity about it and it works for the most part."[3] By way of contrast, another reviewer saw the film as "almost totally devoid of tension, marred by slack pacing, thinly developed characters and banal dialogue."[4]


  1. ^ "European". Daniel Brühl, Thomas Kretschmann and John Malkovich 'In Transit'. Archived from the original on May 26, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2006. 
  2. ^ Release history of In Transit; IMDB. Retrieved 2013-09-26.
  3. ^ Robert Roten, Grim WWII-era prison tale; Laramie Movie Scope. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  4. ^ Don Groves, True story set in chilly Russia lacks heat and heart; SBS Australia - Film. Retrieved 2013-09-28.

External links[edit]