Opening 22 Mar 2007
Based on the true eyewitness account of Adolf Burger, the beginning shows Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics), known as the King of the Counterfeiters, living fast and corrupt in Berlin before WW2. Life was a game where all you needed was money and if he needed it, he would print it. That was until he was arrested by Friedrich Herzog and put into the concentration camp. Later found and transferred to Sachsenhausen by Herzog, Sororwitsch finds himself head of Operation Bernhard, a system for producing counterfeit money in order to sabotage the Allies’ economic system. They used the best printmakers, graphic artists and typographers in the camps and brought them to these barracks where they were all to work under Salomon Sorowitsch.
This is an amazing story showing the conflict between saving your own skin by helping the Nazis or fighting for a greater cause, which meant stopping the machines. The conflict is set up by two very different personalities in the camp: Sorowitsch, who is interested in survival and Adolf Burger (August Diehl), who has lost everything and begins to sabotage the operations. Director Stefan Ruzowitzky does a wonderful job in showing how much these people suffered and how even a character like Sorowitsch who seems so self-confident loses himself in a situation of immense human suffering. It is a shame this film did not take any awards at the Berlinale since the director and actors did a wonderful job. This film should have won outstanding artistic contribution (instead of The Good Shepherd). (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)