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Life Arts    H4'ed 7/7/09

An Appreciation of the Movie The Counterfeiters

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This remarkable film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2007. It stars Karl Markovics as "Sally" Saloman Sorowitsch, a Jew transferred from Auschwitz to Sachsenhausen because he's the greatest counterfeiter in the world. The Nazis need him and a roomful of his fellow death-camp inmates to counterfeit British pound notes and American dollars. Markovics as the leader and moral force keeping the counterfeiters together is simply outstanding.

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The supporting cast, including Devid Striesow as Sturmbannfuhrer Friedrich Herzog in charge of the counterfeiting effort, is also outstanding.

The plot is simple. Originally the Nazis plan to flood the British economy with pounds to bankrupt it. But after the inmates succeed in reproducing the British pound so well it's authenticated by the Bank of England, as the Soviets roll across eastern Europe and the end of the war looms, Herzog and the Nazis in charge of the project (and doubtless some of their superiors) decide to use counterfeit dollars to escape the advancing Allies. So after the inmates have succeeded in counterfeiting the British pound, the Nazis in charge step-up the schedule for counterfeiting the American dollar, and they begin executing the counterfeiters.

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"How could I fail to speak with difficulty? I have new things to say." I graduated from Stanford Law School in 1966 but have never practiced. Instead, I dropped back five years and joined The Movement, but it wasn't until the 1970's that I (more...)
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