The Counterfeiters

If you have never heard of this film or maybe you have heard of it and just haven’t gotten around to seeing it, it is worth discovering. This small Austrian film took home the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2008 Academy Awards. This is a film about Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch. Operating as one of the top counterfeiters in the world, his luck finally runs out and he is captured by the Germans, and of course being Jewish, sent to the concentration camps. The Germans spot him as a counterfeiter and he is shipped to a different camp, where the largest counterfeit operation in history is being run. The Germans goal, to successfully counterfeit the english pound and the american dollar in hopes of flooding the market and destroying the economies of England and the United States.

One thing fresh about this film is that it does not deal with concentration camps in cliché ways, as well as the Germans, many are not presented in cliché ways either. For the most part the audience is not subjected to the horrors of everyday life in a concentration camp, but everyone knows it existed outside of the counterfeiting group. The talented counterfeiters were afforded clean sheets, food, showers and even classical music. This is where most of the character conflict comes from, how someone’s criminal ways are now saving his life.

In all, this is one of those films everyone should see once, even if it is just from a historic purpose as it is based on a true story. Until I saw the film, I had no idea this kind of operation was taking place. The film is very well written, and very well acted I might ad. I highly recommend his movie. You will know more about counterfeiting by the end of this movie that you ever thought you would know. It is interesting on so many levels throughout, political and human. If you can make it through subtitles (I know some don’t like them), I suggest you give this one a chance, you will be glad you did.

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