Watch The Counterfeiters
- 1 hr 38 min
The Counterfeiters is a powerful drama film from 2007 directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky. The movie is based on the true story of Operation Bernhard, a Nazi plan to flood Allied nations with fake currency during World War II. The Counterfeiters rightfully won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2008. The movie is set in 1936 Berlin and begins in a Gestapo prison, where Salomon Sorowitsch (played by Karl Markovics), a Jewish master counterfeiter, is detained for his criminal past. Sorowitsch is shown as a charming and confident criminal, skilled in his trade, but also cunning and manipulative.
Despite being Jewish, Sorowitsch is given an opportunity to live in relative comfort at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by a high-ranking SS officer named Herzog (Devid Striesow) who needs his expertise to carry out the Nazi's plan. Herzog persuades Sorowitsch to put his skills to work on Operation Bernhard in exchange for better living conditions, including luxurious amenities like a private room, unlimited food, and a warm bath.
Sorowitsch is transferred to Sachsenhausen with several other Jewish counterfeiters who are forced to work for the Nazis. Initially, Sorowitsch is hostile towards the other prisoners and only cares about himself, but as he gets to know the other prisoners, he softens his attitude and starts to develop empathy towards the terrible ordeal the Jewish people are going through.
Slowly but surely, Sorowitsch and his team start producing counterfeit notes of the highest quality. The movie shows some of the intricate details of making counterfeit money, highlighting the artistry and precision required to pull off such a crime. Sorowitsch manages to keep the operation under his control and in secret, even with the ever-present threat of betrayal among the prisoners.
As the war progresses and the Allies draw closer, the urgency to finish the counterfeit notes increases. The tension builds, as the team is forced to work faster and harder, while Sabine (Anja Plaschg), a female prisoner assigned to oversee the forgery, questions the moral implications of their actions.
The themes in the movie revolve around the nature of humanity during horrific times, exploring the dilemmas that Sorowitsch and his team face as prisoners who help their oppressors. It delves into what it means to be human, as the characters struggle with their decisions and actions.
The acting in the movie is superb, with Karl Markovics delivering an outstanding performance as Salomon Sorowitsch, a flawed yet charismatic anti-hero who is driven by his own self-interest until he is forced to confront the truth of the Holocaust. The supporting cast is also excellent, particularly August Diehl, who plays Kolya, a prisoner who becomes Sorowitsch's confidant and friend.
Overall, The Counterfeiters is a well-crafted and moving film that tells an important story. The movie doesn't glorify the notorious and criminal act of counterfeiting, but rather explores how the human mind adapts to extreme circumstances. The film is a powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and the unspeakable acts that were committed.
The Counterfeiters is a 2007 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 78.