movie film review | chris tookey


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  Counterfeiters Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
7.33 /10
Karl Marcovics , August Diehl, Devid Striesow
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Directed by: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Written by: Stefan Ruzowitzky, based on Adolf Burgerís memoir The Devilís Workshop

Released: 2007
Origin: Germany/ UK
Colour: C
Length: 98

How far would you have co-operated with the Nazis to save yourself from the gas chamber? This is the question at the heart of this Anglo-German film, which follows in the footsteps of many others in addressing the issue of collaboration.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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It tells the interesting true story of the Jewish prisoners in concentration camps who enabled the Nazis to make counterfeit money to help finance the German war effort and ruin the British economy. If the war had continued a bit longer, they might have helped wreck the American one, too.

Austrian writer-director Stefan Ruzowitzky is weirdly less sympathetic to those prisoners who, like Adolf Burger (August Diehl), tried to sabotage the operation they were supposed to be helping, than he is to more pragmatic forgers such as Salamon Sorowitsch, based on the real-life character Saloman Smolianoff, and played with impressive weight and deviousness by Karl Markovics (pictured centre).

Itís all competently done, but lacks the screenwriting depth or cinematic flair that might have turned it into the equal of the not dissimilarly themed Schindlerís List. Itís still worth seeing, and it stands alongside, if not slightly above, other lesser films about the issue, such as Claude Berriís Uranus, Claude Millerís LíAccompagnatrice and Istvan Szaboís Taking Sides.

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