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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 mischievous life of cards, booze, and women in Berlin during the Nazi-era. Suddenly his luck runs dry when arrested by Superintendent Friedrich Herzog. Immediately thrown into the Mauthausen concentration camp, Salomon exhibits exceptional skills there and is soon transferred to the upgraded camp of Sachsenhausen. Upon his arrival, he once again comes face to face with Herzog, who is there on a secret mission. Hand-picked for his unique skill, Salomon and a group of professionals are forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program Operation Bernhard. The team, which also includes detainee Adolf Burger, is given luxury barracks for their assistance. But while Salomon attempts to weaken the economy of Germany's allied opponents, Adolf refuses to use his skills for Nazi profit and would like to... Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
I came away with a moral dilemma of my own: though "The Counterfeiters" is excellent in places in others it is not.
The true story of Operation Bernhard and the printing of millions of pounds is a fascinating story. The direction, acting, and script are excellent. But my problem was one that for me was a real shock: I was not as moved by the film as I had hoped or wanted to be.
Dealing with the most singular piece of evil devised by man - genocide, especially in the concentration camps is never an easy subject, and perhaps the fact that it is not overplayed is a bonus - however, I came away admiring the film and its performances but left curiously unmoved by the overall tone of the piece.
Perhaps that's the point of the moral dichotomy (Make money, help the Nazis, don't make money, lose your lives but shorten the war) that is does not scream but rather affects us quietly.
Overall, definitely watchable. But misses greatness.
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