The Counterfeiters (2007)

STEFAN RUZOWITZKY

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB

Original title:  Die Falscher

Austria/Germany, 2007.  Magnolia Filmproduktion, Aichholzer Filmproduktion, Beta Cinema, Filmförderung Hamburg, Studio Babelsberg, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen.  Screenplay by Stefan Ruzowitzky, based on the book The Devil’s Workshop by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , .  Music by . Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  Academy Awards 2007National Board of Review Awards 2007.   Online Film Critics Awards 2008.  Toronto International Film Festival 2007.  

Despite getting quite a lot of mileage out of being the world’s greatest known counterfeiter, Salomon Sorowitsch has the chips stacked against him considering he’s a Russian Jew in 1936 Berlin. After being arrested by the authorities for his illegal forging, Sally survives the entire war thanks to his copy talents, assigned along with a group of fellow concentration camp inmates to a secret operation created by the Nazi party to overwhelm the world market with counterfeit currency. Our protagonist’s success with forged British pounds inspires the Germans to aim higher and try to produce convincing American dollars, but conflicting ideals among the prisoners prevent this happening without the threat of major repercussions. This intelligent, sober look at a little-known, fascinating Holocaust experience isn’t the most emotionally captivating film ever made, but it moves at a healthy pace and is performed brilliantly by the entire cast. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film, the first time Austria took home the honour.

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