a genius con artist put to work by the nazis. a survivor’s tale you’ve never seen before.
die fälscher (aka the counterfeiters) is the true story of the largest counterfeiting operation in history, set up by the nazis in 1936. salomon “sally” sorowitsch is the king of counterfeiters. he lives a mischievous life of cards, booze, and women in berlin during the nazi-era. suddenly his luck runs dry when arrested by superintendent friedrich herzog. immediately thrown into the mauthausen concentration camp, salomon exhibits exceptional skills there and is soon transferred to the upgraded camp of sachsenhausen. upon his arrival, he once again comes face to face with herzog, who is there on a secret mission. hand-picked for his unique skill, salomon and a group of professionals are forced to produce fake foreign currency under the program operation bernhard. the team, which also includes detainee adolf burger, is given luxury barracks for their assistance.
dir.: stefan ruzowitzky crime / drama / war 2007
karl markovics as salomon ‘sally’ sorowitsch august diehl as adolf burger devid striesow as sturmbannführer friedrich herzog
first austrian film to win an academy award in the best foreign language film category.
france 1914. a moment of humanity that made history.
in 1914, world war i, the bloodiest war ever at that time in human history, was well under way. however on christmas eve, numerous sections of the western front called an informal, and unauthorized, truce where the various front-line soldiers of the conflict peacefully met each other in no man’s land to share a precious pause in the carnage with a fleeting brotherhood. this film dramatizes one such section as the french, scottish and german sides partake in the unique event, even though they are aware that their superiors will not tolerate its occurrence.
dir.: christian carion christmas / war / french / scottish / german 2005
diane kruger as anna sörensen benno fürmann as nikolaus sprink guillaume canet as audebert daniel brühl as horstmayer dany boon as ponchel gary lewis as palmer
- this film is dedicated to the soldiers who fraternized on christmas 1914 in several places on the front. - the film was originally supposed to be rated r. however, after film critic roger ebert criticized the rating, the mpaa officially changed the rating to pg-13. - when lieutenant audebert (guillaume canet) compliments horstmayer (daniel brühl) on his french, horstmayer replies, “no honor in that; your wife is not german.” at the time, guillaume canet was married to german actress diane kruger, who also starred in the film.
the movie is based on the infamous “stanford prison experiment” conducted in 1971. a makeshift prison is set up in a research lab, complete with cells, bars and surveillance cameras. for 2 weeks 20 male participants are hired to play prisoners and guards. the ‘prisoners’ are locked up and have to follow seemingly mild rules, and the ‘guards’ are told simply to retain order without using physical violence. everybody is free to quit at any time, thereby forfeiting payment. in the beginning the mood between both groups is insecure and rather emphatic. but soon quarrels arise and the wardens employ ever more drastic sanctions to confirm their authority.
dir.: oliver hirschbiegel drama / thriller 2001
moritz bleibtreu as tarek fahd / häftling Nr. 77 / prisoner #77 christian berkel as steinhoff / häftling Nr. 38 / prisoner #38 justus von dohnanyi as berus / strafvollzugsbeamter / guard
- based on a true story, professor philip zimbardo’s ”stanford prison experiment”. - although no one died in the stanford prison experiment on which the movie was based, the experiment was prematurely ended after 6 days out of a planned 2 weeks. the college students assigned to be prisoners was “withdrawing and behaving in pathological ways” as a result of the degrading treatment they received. quite a few scenes in the movie actually happened in the original experiment, including the early fire extinguisher scene and the prisoners being forced to clean the toilets by their bare hands. - filmed in chronological order. - christian berkel originally auditioned for the part of schütte but was then cast as steinhoff. - oliver stokowski (schütte) is actually claustrophobic. in an early scene where the prisoners are crammed into the elevator, a hint of his genuine uneasiness is visible.
a high school teacher’s unusual experiment to demonstrate to his students what life is like under a dictatorship spins horribly out of control when he forms a social unit with a life of its own
drama / thriller dir.: dennis gansel 2008
jürgen vogel as rainer wenger frederick lau as tim stoltefuss jennifer ulrich as karo max riemelt as marco christiane paul as anke wenger
- based on the novel “the wave” by todd strasser (under the pen name morton rhue) a fictionalized account of the “third wave” teaching experiment by ron jones that took place in a cubberley high school history class in palo alto, california in april 1967. - ron jones, the initiator of the original experiment, attended the film’s world premiere at sundance film festival.