Lore (2012)

Lore
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Strong themes and infrequent violence

Director: Cate Shortland
Actors: Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs, Ursina Lardi, Hans-Jochen Wagner, Kai-Peter Mailina, Mika Seidel, Andre Frid

Australian director Cate Shortland's adaptation of the novel The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert is a sensual and complex story that explores the tribulations faced by the young in the aftermath of World War II. When their Nazi SS parents are taken into Allied custody, five siblings are left to fend for themselves. Teenaged Lore, the oldest, takes charge, and the children set out to join their grandmother in Hamburg, some 900 km away. Along the arduous journey, the children encounter a populace suffering from postwar denial and deprivation, and for the first time are exposed to the reality and consequences of their parents' actions.

DVD
Status: QuickPick
Run time: 105mins
Origin: AUSTRALIA
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Audio Formats: German Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English
Youth group
by Simon Miraudo,

The history books are written by the winners. Cate Shortland considers what happens to the rest in her devastating World War 2 flick Lore (the long-anticipated follow-up to the AFI-scooping Somersault).Based on Rachel Seiffert's novel The Dark Room and adapted by Shortland and Robin Mukherjee, this German-language drama is foreboding and filled with disturbing imagery. And just as Somersault launched the career of Abbie Cornish, it too features an astounding central performance from a young actress: Saskia Rosendahl, who is coincidentally something of a ringer for Ms. Cornish. Proceedings begin as the Nazi machine shudders to a halt and Allied forces take occupation of Germany. Teenage Hannelore (Rosendahl) sees her SS father (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and mother (Ursina Lardi) arguing about ab...

The history books are written by the winners. Cate Shortland considers what happens to the rest in her devastating World War 2 flick Lore (the long-anticipated follow-up to the AFI-scooping Somersault).Based on Rachel Seiffert's novel The Dark Room and adapted by Shortland and Robin Mukherjee, this German-language drama is foreboding and filled with disturbing imagery. And just as Somersault launched the career of Abbie Cornish, it too features an astounding central performance from a young actress: Saskia Rosendahl, who is coincidentally something of a ringer for Ms. Cornish.

Proceedings begin as the Nazi machine shudders to a halt and Allied forces take occupation of Germany. Teenage Hannelore (Rosendahl) sees her SS father (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and mother (Ursina Lardi) arguing about abandoning their impressive estate. Dad burns the documents, and mom instructs her kids to gather up the silverware. Soon, their dog has a bullet in its head, and the family is on the run. With pop headed back to the frontline, Lore's mutti must degrade herself to feed the children, including daughter Liesel (Nele Trebs), twins Jürgen (Mika Seidel) and Günther (Andre Frid), as well as little baby Peter. When news arrives that the Führer has taken his life, the heartbroken matriarch decides to hand herself over to the Americans. Lore is instructed to escort her siblings across dangerous terrain to their grandmother's house in Hamburg; during this journey the young girl will come of age, though not in the heart-warming way we would hope.

If Lore is Red Riding Hood, than Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina) is the Big Bad Wolf she encounters on her trip across the dark forest. After discovering him holed up in an abandoned house, Thomas starts stalking the quintet. He's a threatening presence, but when he helps them pass by soldiers with his Jewish papers, Lore has no choice but to accept his companionship. Together, they are forced to take drastic action to ensure their survival; actions that challenge our protagonist's morality. Never mind that she's a devoted Nazi with a burning hatred for the Juden. It's funny how certain things seem righteous when you're exerting dominance, but can seem dirty and desperate when you're fighting for life.

Shortland's craftsmanship has only improved since 2004's Somersault, and that is saying something. Dread slowly builds to a crescendo in Lore, and how it taxes the lead character - who must eventually deal with the consequences of her party's violent exploits, her parents' accountability, and her own prejudices - is as visual an experience as it is an emotional one. Shortland is aided by the cinematography of Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom, Snowtown); surely Australia's best working DOP. Though nary a month goes by without a film about Nazis being released (this year alone we had misogynist Nazis in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, space Nazis in Iron Sky, and Nazi hunters in This Must Be the Place), here is one tale rarely told. Lore will linger long in your memory.

4/5

Check out Simon's other reviews here.

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Member Reviews (24)

stephen
says
Shows German side tragedy of WW2
Posted Thursday, 30 October 2014 See my other reviews
Daniel B
says
In my mind this movie accurately displays the chaos that was immediate post Third Reich Germany. The sense of bewilderment throughout the screen play is meant to accurately portrait to the viewer the feelings of confusion, bewilderment ,and loss that was an everyday fact to all of those that lived at this time. A great film with an interesting theme.
Posted Sunday, 18 May 2014 See my other reviews
Very thought provoking film.
Posted Saturday, 26 April 2014 See my other reviews
Ken
says
If I had seen this movie on SBS, I would have switched channels after 10 minutes... it was confusing, it would start to lead to something, but suddenly stop and start something else...you had to infer a lot, with little or no assurances... Worse of all, the annoying practise of people asking questions, and getting no answers, just a stare.... The acting was good, but the movie itself doesn't rate even 1 star :(
Posted Wednesday, 5 February 2014 See my other reviews
Alex
says
Glad I selected this movie. Very though provoking. How lucky many of us are, not having lived through war and experienced live as refugees.
Posted Friday, 31 January 2014 See my other reviews
Jumbuck
says
Had all the 'get-up-and-go' of 'Meek's Cutoff'... which had none!
Posted Friday, 24 January 2014 See my other reviews
Emma
says
This film sounded so promising and started off that way too. In the end the overly atmospheric film making style interspersed with too many facial close ups spoiled it for me. I found it disappointing.
Posted Tuesday, 7 January 2014 See my other reviews
McLovin
says
.
Posted Sunday, 10 November 2013 See my other reviews
A quite interesting movie, and quite sad. It showed some of the aftermath of the second world war in Germany.
Posted Monday, 7 October 2013 See my other reviews
An excellent movie, showing the other side of the picture. Excellent acting.
Posted Wednesday, 18 September 2013 See my other reviews
kathy
says
exellent movie, great acting,worth watching
Posted Friday, 23 August 2013 See my other reviews
joffa
says
another'different' title. interesting to see different way of looking at situation so many times portrayed from the 'oppisite side' of the coin
Posted Wednesday, 19 June 2013 See my other reviews
This was really interesting and they certainly did their best with the low budget. I thought the cast was excellent and so gave it 3 stars, but sadly, this movie could have been set almost anywhere, anytime. For younger people who do not know much about this period of history there was little or no explanation of what was happening. All those slow moving sections and the arty shots could have been used for dialogue or action to fill the many gaps in the story line - even a voice over would have made this a much better, historically informative movie. Even though it leaves questions unanswered it is worth watching, if only to see a different view of the immediate after-war period. I have actually known two people who lived a very similar experience at that time - walking across Germany in 1945, with two babies and no food. There were many people on the road, hiding, escaping and searching. Well done to these film makers for attempting to share that.
Posted Monday, 10 June 2013 See my other reviews
Deb
says
This movie was excellent, the young female lead had never acted before, Gives an different perspective of ww2.
Posted Saturday, 8 June 2013 See my other reviews
Robert
says
Give me a break. An Australian movie, spoken in German, with subtitles. The subtitles were almost impossible to read : letters way too small, and didn't stay on the screen for long enough. I gave up after about 20 minutes. Don't waste a choice on this movie
Posted Thursday, 16 May 2013 See my other reviews
Ros
says
Interesting film, different genre, a little abstract at times, and slow, but novel seeing it from the other side.
Posted Wednesday, 15 May 2013 See my other reviews
kimbo
says
A good script with intriguing play of prejudice, genuine feelings and deceit against a tragic background. Lore is going beyond the regular holocaust movie not only because showing the German side but also playing with the expectations of the viewers. What is lacking though is a bigger budget for this historical movie. Too little extras mostly: Two US soldiers cannot represent a large army. More than a small railway station could not be rented as a building. There are no pictures of bombed cities. The nature shots are great but are eternal and don't give the right historical and geographical feel. Lore feels like a play to me lacking cinematographic historical scenery.
Posted Monday, 13 May 2013 See my other reviews
John
says
Great movies, thought provoking and an insight into all sides of the WW2 conflict.
Posted Friday, 10 May 2013 See my other reviews
really enjoyed it another take on ww11
Posted Tuesday, 30 April 2013 See my other reviews
Cairo49
says
Sorry, didn't do anything for me.
Posted Tuesday, 16 April 2013 See my other reviews
CC
says
I found the dirge-like pace of this movie heavy going, together with the relentlessly bleak & grim storyline and the glacial stoicism of the main character. I found the plot slow at times, and confusing at other times. There is very little dialogue, and explanations for events are rare.
Posted Thursday, 7 March 2013 See my other reviews
Moi
says
Good, but could have been better. Some of the issues and plot developments were under-explored. Plus, it was boring sometimes.
Posted Saturday, 2 March 2013 See my other reviews
gerd
says
An Australian movie set and shot in Germany, in German, had promise to be out of the ordinary. And indeed it is, but not in a good way. It's far too "arty", with lots of lingering shots of nothing in particular relevant to the story and numerous abrupt changes of scene obscuring comprehension of the preceding scene. Altogether very strange with many unexplained and unresolved story angles.
Posted Saturday, 16 February 2013 See my other reviews
CL-D
says
See what happens when parents deceive their children. Lives destroyed. This movies is bleak, bleak and more bleak with a bit of grim thrown in for good measure. Great cinematography and well directed by Shortland. Acting is good all round but I don't see the Abbie Cornish comparison that the critic does, who cares anyway? ............and who cares if there were a lot of "Nazi movies this year", although I would hardly classify this as one. The music by Max Richter sets the mood for a movie that pretends to be nothing more than it is. Grim, but great, but you won't see it up for an Oscar, I bet.
Posted Wednesday, 13 February 2013 See my other reviews
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