Year of release: 2007
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky
Writers: Adolf Burger (novel), Stefan Ruzowitzky (screenplay)
Starring: Karl Markovics, August Diehl, etc.
Based on the true story of a Jewish forger during WWII, this film brings into light an aspect of the war that hasn’t been approached much in other similar movies, books, or other media productions – the monetary war “games”, in this case, of the Nazis. It is interesting, well-acted, and it may even strike emotional chords in some – I was touched, and I also did some thinking after watching it. It’s not a very dynamic movie, and it is not primarily focused on the horrors and cruelty of war. The characters are somewhat symbolic, and they all embody the will to survive, but each manifests a different attitude towards survival based on different values. The main character, a smart outlaw in a frail and dangerous position, wants to survive, therefore is very adaptable. Then, there’s the man who believes that any risk he takes upon his life is worth it, if, by doing so, he contributes to the survival of a bigger cause. There’s also “the bad guy” who wants to transfer his life of privilege into a new identity (think surviving + extra cash), without paying for anything in the process. And there’s the mass of numbed dehumanized survivors. Needless to say, it did not win an Oscar (Best Foreign Language Film of the Year 2008) for nothing.
Proper sobriety, good character study, novel story on a theme that sometimes gets overworked and redundant in the movies. It shows that there are still little known interesting stories about WWII.
Few, if any, entertaining elements or charismatic characters, but it doesn’t really count.
Would I see it again? – Yes
My Rating (1 to 10): 9
If you are interested in WWII movies, and especially if you have a collection of such movies, you should definitely check out “The Counterfeiters”.