The Counterfeiters

Poster for The Counterfeiters

Summer 2008 Summer Films series

Sunday, June 1, 2008 at 8:00pm

Acadia Cinema's Al Whittle Theatre
450 Main Street, Wolfville, NS

Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky

Screenplay by Stefan Ruzowitzky

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

Rated 14A · 1h 38m
Austria and Germany
Hebrew, English, Russian, and German

View trailer

Winner of the 2008 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Stefan Ruzowitzky’s The Counterfeiters is the first film from Austria to ever receive that prestigious honor. Based on the memoir by Adolf Burger, the film tells the inspiring story of a pre-World War II criminal whose cunning and fiery spirit enable him to overcome deadly odds and survive life in Germany’s Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Before the war, Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics) was one of the world’s most ingenious counterfeiters, until he was finally caught and arrested by Friedrich Herzog (Devid Striesow). Years later, as the Nazi movement is in full swing, the nefariously charming Herzog–now a Nazi leader–recruits Sorowitsch to lead an enormous counterfeiting project called Operation Bernhard. Placed in a horrific position of moral corruption, Sorowitsch is forced to decide whether or not to save his own life or prevent the Nazis from causing further damage on an even grander scale. His fellow prisoner Adolf Burger (August Diehl) is determined to sabotage the operation, but Sorowitsch understands how dangerous a proposition this is. While The Counterfeiters is based on real-life tragedy, it never loses its primary objective as a work of dramatic entertainment. This deft balancing act is what keeps Ruzowitzky’s moving tale from becoming too bleak and depressing. The result is a deeply impressive work that addresses a topic not often explored in Holocaust cinema–the dilemma of victims who were forced to act immorally and illegally for the betterment of their captors. Powerfully acted by Markovics, The Counterfeiters is the type of film that the Oscars were made for.