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
This is the rare - and by that I REALLY mean rare! - case of an Austrian movie being able to bear comparison with international competition. "Die Fälscher" is a well-made and touching movie about the Holocaust and a special division of Jews in a concentration camp that survived by counterfeiting money (or pretending to do so) for the Nazis. Karl Markovics is the shining light of the cast. Who thought that the guy who came to greater popularity by starring in "Kommissar Rex" would end up getting roles like this one and playing them to perfection? August Diehl is good, too, but he comes across as a bit too dramatic at times. The Nazis - and that's the only weakness of Stefan Ruzowitzky's movie - are the way they always are. Ruthless, cruel, craven and at the same time stupid pigs who do everything to humiliate the Jews at any time. Even though, that is probably the way 99% of them really were, it would have been more interesting to get a differentiated view on some of them.
While "Die Fälscher" may not reinvent the wheel, it is a pretty great movie. And although it's typical that Hollywood would pick only a Holocaust-story from Austria as an Oscar contender, it is exciting as hell for a movie from this country to get a nomination. I really hope that Stefan Ruzowitzky will get the award, because his movie deserves it and it could help the Austrian film industry to finally get momentum again.
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