Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Counterfeiters

An interesting review here about the wonderful Austrian film The Counterfeiters. My folks had mentioned it to me a few months ago, I think I put it in the ol' Netflix cue, forgot about it, and it showed up in the mail last week. The Times review rightly points out the difficulties directors face in making Holocaust films: they "either try to take the full, horrible measure of the subject, at the risk of overwhelming or alienating a modern audience, or else, in trying to make the story bearable, they subvert its truth." The opening and closing post-camps scenes in Monte Carlo reminded me for just an instant of Life is Beautiful, the Benigni WWII farce from a few years ago, but that is a far more glaring and problematic example of subverting reality and horror. The Counterfeiters is a much humbler film, and its greatest asset in the end is probably its remarkable lead actor, the incredibly-named Karl Markovics.

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