The movie depicts one of the largest counterfeit currency scams that took place during the final few years of the Nazi rule. Not only does it elaborate how the fake Sterling Pounds and US Dollars are produced in top-secret in a concentration camp, but also gives us a glimpse of the tragic conditions in which prisoners where kept in these German camps. You feel a mixed emotion of awe and horror, as the movie rolls on to deliver the plot.
Directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, the movie starts with Salomon ‘Sally’ Sorowitsch gambling at a casino in Monte Carlo and the movie goes back into the past. Sally, a skilled forger is arrested by Herzog and five years later is moved to a concentration camp along with other inmates. As they are walked through the campus to their quarters, they see the miserable conditions in which the housemates are living in the concentration camp.
However, they are taken to two secluded barracks that are set apart from the rest of the camp. Here they meet Herzog, who tells them why they have been brought here. They have been specially chosen to produce counterfeit notes for the Germans, which they would float into their enemy economies. Sally is put in charge of this mission called “Operation Barnard”. The inmates have only two options, do as they are told and enjoy a filling meal and a clean bed to sleep in or die for refusing.
With no other choice, the prisoners do as told and soon they produce the perfect counterfeit Sterling Pounds. Next in line is the Dollar, but the Germans have very little time, as the allies are closing up on them. The prisoners are threatened and asked to speed up their work. When the job is completed and the machinery removed, the Germans disappear. Herzog hides some of the money and when he is digging it up, Sally confronts him.
Herzog is allowed to go alive, but Sally keeps the money. The film gets back to the present where Sally is gambling away this money. The Counterfeiters, is a well-directed movie, which reveals the trauma of the war and how each character in the film in his own way is opposed to Operation Bernard, but are forced to participate in order to keep alive. The film is touching as well as intriguing how the Nazis carried out their operations.
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