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Die fälscher|The Counterfeiters

Not worth the Oscar
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 5, 2008
1.5 1.5 Stars
The_Counterfeiters_inside
Die fälscher|The Counterfeiters

It’s fitting that a film called Die fälscher|The Counterfeiters should have won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language film, since that’s the most bogus category in the bunch. After honoring Das Leben der Anderen|The Lives of Others, the Academy has returned to form with a potboiler that hits the right notes: the Holocaust, photogenic period detail (director Stefan Ruzowitzky’s Sachsenhausen camp looks like a seedy Ringstraße weinkeller), and “deep” questions about good and evil, fate and responsibility. Based on a true story that some day might make a terrific movie, this one relates the fate of Sali (Karl Markovics), the “King of the Counterfeiters.” He’s brought in to head “Operation Bernhard,” a plan to bankrupt the Allies by forging their currency. A corrupt and cruel commandant runs the show — call it Schindler’s a Shit. Sali’s choice: collaborate and save himself and his fellow Jews but lose the war or pretend to collaborate and save everyone and win the war. Credit Markovics’s marvelous face for keeping you guessing. German | 98 minutes | Kendall Square
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