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The Forger - Film Review (German Film Festival 2022)

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It's all mimicry
the forger film review, community event, fun things to do, foreign films, subtitled films, german film festival 2022, entertainment, night life, date night, performing arts
Images © Amour Fou Luxembourg, Dreifilm, Network Movie Film-und Fernsehproduktion

The Forger will be screening at the German Film Festival from 24 May to 22 June 2022. Directed and written by Maggie Peren, it is based on the extraordinary true story of a talented Jewish graphic artist who uses his talent to help others escape the Nazis.

It's Berlin 1942, and young Cioma Schönhaus (rising star Louis Hofmann, Dark, Land of Mine) is called upon to use his talent for forging documents, especially passports. He sees the opportunity as an ideal way to help not just himself, but others to escape deportation. Thanks to his knack for creating new identities, he is able to hide in plain sight, navigating around authorities with inventiveness and charm. He throws himself into the city's nightlife with his friends Det (Jonathan Berlin, Summer of 44) and Gerda (Luna Wedler), and even manages to get a fragile glimpse of love in seemingly hopeless times.


However, charades can't last forever as the risks he takes draws him closer and closer to danger in wartime Berlin where decadence and depression are intermixed. Cioma is young and not always careful when temptation draws him in like a moth to a flame. His immaturity and unworldliness also see him bully bounced and blackmailed and see him come out with less and less of all he has. This film shows the slow deterioration of a young man who once lived in a beautiful home that slowly disintegrates to nothing but a hard floor on a bitterly cold night. However, this is a character that lets nothing dampen his spirit.

The film, the scenes, and the characters are engaging, but the pacing of the film is a little drawn out. There's not a lot of backstories to its characters and some might find this refreshing, and others lacking. Cioma is youthful and perhaps it's the reason some of the chutzpah comes across as a little immature. You won't see a lot of wartime action either with very few scenes taking place outdoors. The Nazis are not given a platform and you see everything through Cioma's eyes. Yet in spite of its narrative lightness, the life-threatening situation, the deterioration is crystal clear and very touching were you to imagine yourself in that situation. The two female characters are especially strong here. The landlady and Gerda create layers in the story that at least makes you wonder about their true intentions.



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Why? The Forger - Film Review
When: 24 May to 22 Jun 2022
Where: In Cinema
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