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Criticism of ‘The passport forger’, desire to live despite everything

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Maggie Peren writes and directs this new testimony about the horrors of World War II and, despite everything, the irrepressible will to live.

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    In the same way as its protagonist –a young 21-year-old Jew who, in Berlin in 1942, decides to hide in broad daylight, ‘mimicking’ the appearance, manners and habits of his former German neighbors and fellow citizens–, there is in ‘The passport forger’ a will to present himself as what he does not want to be: the story of another Holocaust survivor. The war and its consequences are there, like a continuous bass that conditions everything, but always in the background. An approach that relates her to recent films (‘Jojo Rabbit’, without going any further), but from which she distances herself due to her treatment –aesthetic, narrative and moral– of the conflict.

    Based on the real experience of Cioma Schönhaus and armed with careful production design and staging, Maggie Peren’s film is based on the work of Louis Hofmann who, although his role does not have the irresistible charm or inexhaustible ability to reinvent himself that the chameleonic Frank Abagnale Jr. had from ‘Catch me if you can’ (S. Spielberg, 2002), he does manage to convey the irrepressible energy of a youth that, despite wars and misfortunes, never loses the will to live.

    For collectors of real testimonies of the Second World War

    The best: Frankie Corio, impressive in his debut.

    The worst: that subtlety plays against him.


    Direction: Maggie Peren Distribution: Louis Hofmann, Jonathan Berlin, Luna Wedler, Nina Gummich, André Jung Country: Germany Year: 2022 Release date: 13–01-2023 Gender: Drama Script: Maggie Peren Duration: 116 min.

    Synopsis: Berlin, 1942. Cioma Schönhaus is a 21-year-old Jewish man who has made it his mission that no one, not even the Nazis, take away his zest for life. To escape deportation, Cioma uses the identity of a naval officer, thus discovering that he has a hidden talent for forging not only passports and documents, but also his own identity.

    Source: Fotogramas

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