The Counterfeiters is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the Nazis in 1936. Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch is the king of counterfeiters. He lives a ... See full summary »
A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.
Sixteen-year-old Lilja and her only friend, the young boy Volodja, live in Estonia, fantasizing about a better life. One day, Lilja falls in love with Andrej, who is going to Sweden, and invites Lilja to come along and start a new life.
Polish 12 year-young city Jew Romek gets a crash-course in Catholicsim from his daddy ('stay hanging by your arms till your prayers are perfect') so he can be sent away and escape deportation (Auschwitz?) hiding in the country where the clergy found a host, Gniecio's simple peasant family, posing as their city relative. Gniecio's eldest son Vladek proves rather tyrannical but no brighter then gullible junior Tollo, who takes a role play in catechism class to 'become' a Last Supper character, in his case Jesus, to the extreme, even training for a crucifixion from a tree. Neighbor Batylin and his wife are executed by the Nazis when their illegally kept pig is found. Kluba plays a dirty trick when Gniecio tries to sell his in the city; his son is as problematic for the boys, who meanwhile play involving a single girl-playmate, Maria, who takes Romek in when he's stupidly thrown out by his widowed host by mistake. The horror of war itself suddenly shows its ugly head again, big time and ... Written by
This is a must of Haley Joel Osment fans, of course, though some might be disappointed in the Polish accent that the film requires from HJO. He is the star of the film, no doubt, but the other kids (both boys and girls) are just as much a part of the story, and are wonderful young actors. Willem Defoe as the priest is fine, though he's not a very good pig-chaser (okay, that's an inside joke, for those who've seen the film). Liam Hess, who plays the younger brother in the family that the Haley character is living with to avoid being rounded up by the Nazis, is the best of the group, and the most sympathetic of the characters. Some of the plot situations he goes through seem a bit far-fetched, but the underlying allegory that his character embodies is mostly effectively drawn, and comes to an emotional conclusion. All of the Nazis portrayed in this movie are monsters as human beings, with no attempt made to find even one sympathetic German character in the group. There is some balance in the Polish characterizations, though, as some are good people, and some are bad.
As for the reason this hasn't been released in the U.S. yet, I found nothing that should keep it out of the theaters. The one nude scene with young Liam Hess is certainly innocent enough, and the rape scene involving a couple of the other young actors/actresses was emotionally moving, without being too graphic for anyone who's not running for office somewhere and trying to make a name for themself. The dvd is a first rate product.
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