True story highlighted at German Film Festival

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Based on a true story, The Forger follows young Jewish man Ciama Schonhaus (Louis Hofmann) in 1942 WWII Germany.

He lives alone in his family flat, the rest of his family having been taken out to the concentration camps, with an exemption meaning he works in a factory rather than being sent to the front.

However he doesn’t let this, alongside the cold and lack of food, stop him from enjoying life.

Despite the risks he takes the bus when he shouldn’t, eats at restaurants while pretending to be a Nazi and, with help from his tailor friend Det (Jonathan Berlin), dresses up in soldiers uniforms and goes dancing.

However it’s when he comes under the employ of Mr Kaufman (Marc Limpach) as a forger that he sees a way out for good.

The Forger is a reminder that an event like WWII wasn’t just the big battles, army general and spies, but also everyday people having to eke out an existence as best they could.

Cioma is portrayed as a man ever optimistic in the face of extreme trauma and hardship, a tricky tone to balance and one the film is not quite successful at.

His cheery persona comes of as gormless and his risk taking frustrating rather than cheeky and charming.

The film also struggles with its narrative flow, scenes seemingly coming out of nowhere.

This is not helped by the fact that for a film called The Forger, there is is less forging than you would expect, sidelined by a rather mundane romance subplot.

While there are excellent individual performances and scenes, as a whole The Forger doesn’t quite convince.

The Forger (M)

Director: Maggie Peren

Starring: Louis Hofmann, Jonathan Berlin, Marc Limpach)

Three stars

Showing as part of the German Film Festival until June 22



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