I had activities lined up at Palo Alto High School in the early afternoon and Stanford University in the evening, which left me stranded on the Peninsula for several hours in between. I decided to fill up my time like most people would fill up their time—by going to see a Holocaust movie, of course!
The Counterfeiters, which recently won an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, tells the compelling true story about a notorious Jewish counterfeiter who gets nabbed by the authorities and subsequently thrown into a concentration camp during World War II. When the Nazis start going bankrupt, our protagonist and some of his fellow prisoners get recruited to forge money.
The movie is rife with moral conundrums. For example, the prisoners' counterfeiting efforts keep them alive and well and in better living quarters than the rest of the camp—but their work is helping to fund the war and to keep the Nazis going.
No, Holocaust pictures aren't really a "fun" time at the movies (though The Counterfeiters does unfold like a thriller), but they do really put things in perspective for most of us, don't they?
Think you've got it bad? Girlfriend, you do not have it bad. You don't know bad. And you will most likely never know bad.
The most moving scenes in the film, to me, are the moments in which the prisoners express deep appreciation for what they have—some time in the sun, the feel of real bed sheets, music.
I walked out of the theater with no complaints. It was a nice day.