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European-American Topics - Cinema - The Counterfeiters

The Counterfeiters
By Caroline Planque

Posted March 12, 2008


    Winner of the 2008 Academy Awards for best foreign film, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s époque movie recalls the true story of the largest counterfeiting enterprise to have ever taken place in history during the Second World War. “Operation Bernhard” was operated from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, in an effort to flood Great Britain and later the US with counterfeited notes to crumble their economy. A small amount of inmates, all of them experts in counterfeiting or printing, were brought together to make the German endeavor a success. In their golden shelter in the middle of the camp but separated from it, they were provided with food and a decent shelter, while being able to hear the atrocities committed on the other side of the wall.

    Salomon Sorowitch, the pragmatic (I’d rather be gassed tomorrow than shot for nothing today. A day is a day)  and Adolf Burger, the idealist, clash on how far they are ready to go to sabotage the operation and whether they are ready to sacrifice their own lives and the lives of their coworkers to put a blow to the German war’s effort. Human nature is shown at his rawest: the survival instinct transforms individuals into people they did not know they could be, for better or for worse. But amid the tragedy, a strange sense of brotherhood also emerges.


    The Counterfeiters is playing at the Egyptian


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