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Posts Tagged ‘World War II’

The Counterfeiters – Oscar for Best Foreign Film (2007)

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Counterfeiters (2007)  Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky starring Karl Markovics and others.  Based on the story of Operation Bernhard, a Nazi plan to flood the market with counterfeit British Pounds; the counterfeiting is done by Jewish prisoners in a Nazi concentration camp.  The excellent acting by Markovics, portraying fascinating and complex Salomon “Sally” Sorowitsch, a counterfeiter before the war, is fundamental in the success of The Counterfeiters.  The film tries very hard to ask the questions “How much cooperation with evil is justified in the name of survival?  How can the imperative to stay alive compete with the obligations to help others, and to oppose injustice?”, as A.O. Scott put it in The New York Times, and mostly succeeds thanks to the diversity of ideologies and personal morality embodied by the group of prisoners working on Operation Bernhard.  Nevertheless, one could be somewhat perturbed by the individualisation of the Nazi menace: there are and always have been sadistic individuals; Nazism was, on the other hand, a wide-spread, profoundly organised terror, and this is less apparent in the film, though it is, in fact, the very reason the above questions needed to be posed.  Having said that, The Counterfeiters, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007, is an excellent film, though perhaps a bit average in its purely cinematic qualities, the situation portrayed is complex and moving, the acting, in general, is very good and the end result is a serious drama with more than a touch of a thriller, that is well worth watching. (PR)

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