"Acclaimed Holocaust Tale"
THE COUNTERFEITERS is an Austrian movie about Jewish craftsmen who were forced to print counterfeit English and American money during World War II.
The movie opens in a flashback with a Jewish counterfeiter from Russia, Salomon, being arrested and imprisoned in 1936. After five years, the policeman who arrested Salomon, Inspector Herzog (now an SS man), brings him to a concentration camp. There, Hitler’s National Socialist thugs are forcing Jews to counterfeit English money, in hopes of eventually counterfeiting American currency.
Herzog believes in giving the Jewish counterfeiters incentives and privileges in return for their good work. Of course, if the Jews fail, or if they sabotage the work, they will be executed on the spot or sent to the gas chambers.
At first, Salomon, who is trying to get medicine for a younger prisoner infected with tuberculosis, accepts this Faustian bargain from Herzog. An expert counterfeiter, he helps the Germans counterfeit millions of English pound notes. This irks Burger, a fellow prisoner who is a Communist. Burger keeps sabotaging the work to counterfeit the American dollar, but this causes tension with the other prisoners. Salomon keeps covering for Burger because he doesn’t want to squeal on a fellow Jew, especially when the result for squealing would be Burger’s certain death. Eventually, however, things come to a head as tensions mount.
Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Movie Oscar®, THE COUNTERFEITERS is an engrossing drama about a little known story in the Holocaust during World War II. The filmmakers deftly handle the moral dilemma faced by these Jewish prisoners. The only flaws are some strong foul language, snatches of very strong violence, and the fact that the movie’s positive moral points are made by an atheist Communist instead of a religious Jew. In fact, the movie is based on a book by the real-life Adolf Burger, THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP (the filmmakers change the last name of Salomon, whose real last name was Smolianoff). Thus, the movie’s morality is not determined by religious, God-centered or biblical notions, but by the group-think of secular ideology. Of course, without a moral theology based on God and His divine character, all things are permitted, morally speaking, and truth becomes relative.
(BB, Co, H, LL, VVV, S, NN, A, D, M) Strong moral worldview opposed to National Socialism, or fascist totalitarianism, marred by a sympathetic heroic character who is a Communist, which is, of course, another kind of fascist totalitarianism that actually murdered more people between 1933 and 1946; 12 obscenities (including a few “f” words) and one light profanity; brief very strong violence with bloody spraying during a few graphic shootings, plus people are beaten, fighting and Holocaust scenes with corpses and emaciated people; implied fornication; brief upper and rear female nudity, plus upper and rear male nudity depicted; brief alcohol; smoking; and, gambling, counterfeiting, threats, totalitarianism partially rebuked, and Holocaust prisoners argue among themselves.
THE COUNTERFEITERS is an Austrian movie about Jewish craftsmen who were forced to print counterfeit English and American money during World War II. Five years after being arrested and imprisoned for counterfeiting in 1936, Salomon, a Jewish immigrant from Russia, is brought to a concentration camp where Hitler’s thugs are forcing Jews to counterfeit English money. Herzog, the officer who originally arrested Salomon and in charge of the project, uses incentives and privileges to inspire the Jewish prisoners in their work. At first, Salomon accepts this Faustian bargain, but Adolf Burger, a fellow prisoner who is a Communist, decides to start sabotaging the work. This causes conflict among the prisoners, with Salomon in the middle.
THE COUNTERFEITERS is an engrossing drama about a little known story in the Holocaust during World War II. The filmmakers deftly handle the moral dilemma faced by these prisoners. The only flaws are some strong foul language, snatches of very strong violence, and the fact that the movie’s positive moral points are made by an atheist Communist instead of a religious Jew. Thus, the movie’s moral worldview is not based on religious, God-centered or biblical notions.