Berlin, 1942. A young Jewish man, Cioma Schönhaus, refuses to let the Nazis take away his love of life. When he discovers his talent for forging documents – especially passports – he sees this as the ideal way to help not only himself but also others escape deportation. Thanks to his knack for creating new identities, he dares to venture out of hiding and navigates round the authorities with inventiveness and charm. He and his friends Det and Gerda are hiding in plain sight. Cioma even catches a fragile glimpse of love in seemingly hopeless times. But the more lives the trio saves, the more the noose tightens around them.
Directed by Maggie Peren, who also wrote the screenplay, "Der Passfälscher" is based on a true story, the inspirational power of which she highlights and honours. One of the film's great achievements lies in its cast which brings together terrific young actors Luna Wedler, Jonathan Berlin, and Louis Hofmann as the 21-year-old forger. The choice of Hofmann is impeccable, his previous work having demonstrated a rare ability to embody a certain mix of reluctant bravery, innocence and even purity in the darkest of circumstances – undoubtedly one of the keys to survival.
Source: 72. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin (Catalogue)