Pin It
Favorite

DVD Review 

The Counterfeiters & r & & r & by KEVIN TAYLOR & r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & T & lt;/span & his year's Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Film is a taut and powerful tale of Jewish concentration camp prisoners who were handpicked to run a secret -- and ambitious -- counterfeiting operation for the Nazis in the latter stages of World War II.





Austrian director Fritz Ruzowitzky begins the story post-war at a casino where Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch (played with mesmerizing intensity by Karl Markovics) literally begins anew with haircut, shave, clothing, high-stakes poker and a briefcase full of U.S. dollars.





From this prologue, the film jumps back to shady underworld Berlin, where Sorowitsch is arrested as a master counterfeiter just prior to the war. Ruzowitzky then hurtles his character down the rabbit hole into the unthinkable world of the concentration camps, where hope is a laughable four-letter word and survival is the coin of the realm.





In Ruzowitzky's hands, The Counterfeiters is not so much about Nazis persecuting Jews as it is an exploration of the choices people make while balancing on the razor's edge of imminent death.





By printing money for the Nazis, were the prisoners prolonging the war and increasing the death toll? Idealism crashes into pragmatism, then gets swallowed by the wolfish hunger to stay alive one more day.





Is it merely pride that drives Sorowitsch to fake the dollar perfectly? Is it selfishness that drives idealistic printer Adolf Burger, who learns of his wife's death in Auschwitz, to urge sabotage -- knowing that it will get everyone shot, not just himself?





The acting is powerful across the board, especially once the film moves to the confined world of the counterfeiting factory, located in two sealed-off barracks in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.





The film is based on true events, the screenplay informed by the razor-sharp memories of survivor Adolf Burger -- an energetic 90-year-old Czech printer who is showcased in more than an hour of worthwhile bonus materials.





In the most interesting featurette, "Adolf Burger's Artifacts," Burger speaks more factually of the counterfeiting but no less powerfully than the feature film.





"We were dead men on holiday," Burger says. "We never expected to walk away alive from a secret operation." (Rated R)

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Age of Zaycon
  • Age of Zaycon

    Spokane Valley's Zaycon Fresh found a way to make millions selling meat — and now it's trying to make a lot more
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Hazy Days of Summer
  • Hazy Days of Summer

    Smoke blankets the region; plus, Patty Murray on the proposed Iran deal
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • Brick by Brick
  • Brick by Brick

    Development continues in downtown Spokane; here are some construction projects that could change the city's urban core
    • Aug 26, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event

Saving Seeds: A Seed Library Event @ Hillyard Library

Tue., Sept. 1, 6:30 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by n/a

  • Iron Upgrade
  • Iron Upgrade

    The new one is smart and funny and action-packed, and it’s bigger and better and sleeker. And Downey does it again, this time ramping up Stark’s arrogant wisecracking, telling anyone who’ll listen (mostly women) that, via the creation of his powerful Iron Man suit, he’s brought years of uninterrupted peace to the world.
    • May 12, 2010
  • Seeing Gay
  • Seeing Gay

    A festival showing GLBT from all angles
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • Get Out the Vote
  • Get Out the Vote

    With all the uncertainty in the world these days, hot wings and cold beer are two things we can get behind
    • Nov 9, 2009
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Manufacturing Fear

    Spokane's Republican sheriff says members of his own party are dangerously dividing people
    • Aug 12, 2015
  • 'Flip of a Coin'

    A Spokane Valley deputy trained to spot stoned and drunk drivers is wrong nearly as often as he is right, blood tests from drivers show
    • Aug 19, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


marijuana


Comment


Publisher's Note


BUSINESS


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation