The Counterfeiters

  • 15
  • Stefan Ruzowitzky (2007)
  • Ger / Austria / Fr (SUB)
  • 94 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

This astonishing Second World War drama tells the true story of Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics), a Jewish counterfeiter who is ensnared in a Nazi plot while incarcerated in a concentration camp. Arrested in pre-war Berlin, Sally survives long enough to be sent to Sachsenhausen, centre of a scheme to produce enough forged Allied currency to destabilise the US and UK economies. In return for their expertise, the forgers are granted privileges such as clean beds, cigarettes and food, but one of their number, Adolf Burger (on whose memoir this is based), is opposed to co-operating with the Nazis and attempts to sabotage the project. Writer/director Stefan Ruzowitzky doesn't foreground the Nazi brutality, letting it insinuate itself in the sounds of murderous violence that filter into the forgers' barracks from the camp, while the compelling screenplay wrestles with the moral agonies surrounding collaboration.

Plot Summary

Oscar-winning Second World War drama based on a true story, starring Karl Markovics. Berlin, 1936: Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch has a talent for forgery that finances his taste for the finer things in life. But that all comes to an end when he's arrested and sent to a concentration camp, where he must use his artistic gifts in order to stay alive.

Cast and crew


Salomon "Sally" Sorowitsch
Karl Markovics
Adolf Burger
August Diehl
Sturmbannführer Friedrich Herzog
Devid Striesow
Hauptscharführer Holst
Martin Brambach
Dr Klinger
August Zirner
Veit Stübner
Sebastian Urzendowsky
Andreas Schmidt
Dr Viktor Hahn
Tilo Prückner
Lenn Kudrjawizki


Stefan Ruzowitzky

Other Information

German +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Contains violence, swearing and nudity.
Available on DVD
Released 12 Oct 2007
Certificate 15
Metrodome Distribution Ltd