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The Counterfeiters

2007 Drama

Writer/director Stefan Ruzowitzky explores the moral corrosion of Nazi complicity with this tightly wound adaptation of Adolf Burger's fact-based book The Devil's Workshop. Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) may be a talented artist at heart, but his desire for wealth has driven him to use his creativity for more nefarious means. Arrested by the police inspector Herzog (Devid Striesow) at the onset of World War II, Sorowitsch is sent to the notorious Mauthausen concentration camp. It's not long before Salomon's thinly veiled opportunism earns him a relatively comfortable position as the camp's resident sketch artist, and five years later he is mysteriously swept away to Sachsenhausen. Upon arriving at the camp, Sorowitsch discovers that Herzog, now a commandant, is attempting to destabilize the economies of the Allies while simultaneously funding the Nazi war machine by assembling a special team of counterfeit artists to create millions in fraudulent pounds and dollars. As the operation gets under way, Sorowitsch finds the efforts of the team continually undermined by unyieldingly idealistic collotype specialist Adolf Burger (August Diehl). In the months that follow, the team wrestles with their consciences as Axis forces are gradually overwhelmed by Allied might. The Counterfeiters won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. more..

Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky

Starring: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, Devid Striesow, Dolores Chaplin, August Zirner

Reviews

  • Without doing anything so divisive as taking sides, The Counterfeiters pays sympathetic attention to those who play their cards to win even when the rules are terrible, not least because the remarkable Markovics, an Austrian TV actor with a pugnacious anvil of a head, is so riveting as an unsaintly survivor.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly

    19 January 2013

  • Some movies rest on an actor's face, and The Counterfeiters has a great one.

    Ty Burr - The Boston Globe

    19 January 2013

  • Swift and compelling, winner of this yearâ??s Oscar for best foreign-language picture, The Counterfeiters may not be destined for the large international audience that embraced last yearâ??s winner, â??The Lives of Others.â? But itâ??s the better, tougher film, with a more provocative moral dilemma at its center.

    Michael Phillips - The Chicago Tribune

    19 January 2013

  • Well made, provocative and compelling.

    - The San Francisco Chronicle

    19 January 2013

  • It is always intriguing as it follows the arrest and captivity of Salomon Sorowitsch (the terrific Karl Markovics), one of Germany's leading counterfeiters.

    Connie Ogle - Miami Herald

    19 January 2013

Awards

  • Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

    Academy Awards (2008)

  • Stefan Ruzowitzky

    Berlin International Film Festival (2007)

     
  • Best Director

    Flaiano International Prizes (2009)

  • Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Beste darstellerische Leistung - Männliche Nebenrolle)

    German Film Awards (2007)

  • Stefan Ruzowitzky

    Ghent International Film Festival (2007)