5.8/10
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In Tranzit (2008)

In 1946, a group of German POWs are mistakenly sent to a Soviet female transit prison camp and must cope with the hostility of the Soviet female inmates and guards, under the orders of cruel camp commander Pavlov.

Director:

Tom Roberts
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Stars: Vera Farmiga, Mark Strong, Harry Lloyd
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vera Farmiga ... Natalia
Thomas Kretschmann ... Max
John Malkovich ... Pavlov
Daniel Brühl ... Klaus
Natalie Press ... Zina
Patrick Kennedy ... Peter
John Lynch ... Yakov
Guy Flanagan Guy Flanagan ... Hans
Phillip Azarov Phillip Azarov ... Ivan
Sergei Baryshev Sergei Baryshev ... Russian Guard 1 (as Sergey Baryshev)
Aleksandr Bolshakov Aleksandr Bolshakov ... Captain (as Alexander Bolshakov)
Katya Chunkova Katya Chunkova ... Nina
Ingeborga Dapkunaite ... Vera
Andrey Fedortsov ... Anton
Natalya Fisson Natalya Fisson ... Tamara (as Natalia Fisson)
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Storyline

In the winter of 1946, in Leningrad, a group of German prisoners of war are sent to a female transit camp by the cruel Russian Commander Pavlov. When they arrive, the Russian female soldiers show the hostility to the enemies that have killed their husbands, families and friends; only Dr. Natalia and the cook treat the prisoners with dignity. Natalia has an agreement with Commander Pavlov to keep her former lover, who was wounded on the head during the war and is slow, in the camp instead of sending him to an institution in Siberia. Pavlov assigns Natalia to disclose members of the SS infiltrated in the group of prisoners. Natalia and the prisoner Max feel a great attraction for each other while the prisoner Klaus tries to convince Max to denounce a couple of prisoners to satisfy the Russian. Natalia convinces the businessman Yakov to organize an orchestra with the prisoners; they are invited to play in a ball, where the lonely women that survived the war dance with the Germans. After ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From her greatest enemy came her greatest love

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality, nudity, violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Russia

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 May 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In Tranzit See more »

Filming Locations:

St. Petersburg, Russia

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was not subject to theatrical release and it was distributed straight to DVD in several countries. See more »

Goofs

Some of the female guards wear summer forage caps and others the heavy winter ushanka; the second is the correct type to be wearing with the winter uniform. See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Excellent Idea for a Film, A Very Weak Script
17 May 2009 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

IN TRANZIT is one of those forgotten films the viewer wants to love: an all but unknown bit of history based on a true story that offers a different insight into the universal damage inflicted upon all peoples by WW II. The problem with this production is the embarrassingly weak script by Natalia Portonova and Simon van der Borgh, the unfocused direction by Tom Roberts and the bumpy editing by Paul Carlin. Beautifully photographed by Sergei Astakhov in a manner that emphasizes the brutality of Russian winters, setting a perfect matrix for the drama, this film had potential, but even the isolated acting contributions of a few seasoned actors cannot hide the weak script and the annoying pacing.

1946 and a Russian Women's prisoner of war camp lays unused until it is determined by one evil Russian officer Pavlov (John Malkovich) that it will become a camp for German prisoners of war to ferret out occult members of the Nazi SS group that inflicted such agony on the Russians. The camp is run by a group of angry Russian women soldiers and one Russian physician Natalia (Vera Farmiga) who together with Citizen Zina (Natalie Press) represent the humanistic side of the suffering Russian victims of the German brutality. And so it is German men, including the handsome Max (Thomas Kretschmann) who shares a mutual attraction with Natalia and the enigmatic Klaus (Daniel Brühl) among others, versus the Russian women: role reversal and gender dominance changes create the drama. One key mute figure is Andrei (the brilliant Russian actor Yevgeni Mironov), the psychologically damaged husband of Natalia, who in many ways represents the tragedy of the entire WW II on mankind. How these two groups of people interact and survive the conditions imposed on them forms the story.

Though Farmiga and Kretschmann, Press and Mironov overcome the awkward script in an attempt to suffuse this film with palpable tragedy, the result is a bumpy ride through the obvious pitfalls of amateur film-making. It could have been an important film, but is remains a minor though interesting insight as to the extended effects of war on people's psyches. Grady Harp


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