Review: Lore, Directed by Cate Shortland
16.10.2012 - The war has just ended, and the
Fuhrer has presumably fallen. Amidst the chaos, a
Nazi-indoctrinated family suffers the consequences. Lore
follows the lives of four siblings, led by their sister Hannelore
Dressler (the beautiful and promising Saskia Rosendahl) on their
way to their grandmother's house 500 miles away. When their parents
are arrested by Allied forces, Lore must find a way to keep what
remains of her family safe. The naïve and awkward group of siblings
thus embark on a long and often dangerous trek towards safety.
Lore quickly transports its viewers to the cold, rugged
terrain of the Black Forest, where most of the story takes place.
The kids' undeterred drive to get to the other side paired with the
uncertainty that their journey brings, is a source of constant
tension to both the characters and the audience alike. The young
Lore is now the herd leader, with baby Peter in tow. How they let
go of their belongings - carrying only their basic necessities with
them - is a testament of their irrevocable urge to find their
grandmother, and return 'home'. Lore is determined, often cynical
and sometimes uncomfortably protective of her siblings. This
becomes obvious when they are joined by Thomas, a Jewish refugee.
Lore feels betrayed and her conscience stirred as she must now seek
help from the one person that goes against her Nazi ideology.
The film comes as a welcome punch in the gut after a number of
tried and tested post WWII plots. With a scintillating soundtrack
that provides the ideal score to Lore's loss of belief, poignancy
and innocence; she learns the art of survival - especially when
she's seen bartering silverware for food or taking the wristwatch
from a dead man's body. Lore bravely explores the ways in which the
Holocaust devasted the German psyche.
Cate Shortland has done a tremendous job in steering away from
clichés, and engaging viewers in the so-called journey to survival
and safety. The audience is sure to look out for the twin boys,
feel sorry for baby Peter and frown when Lore refuses to take help
from Thomas. A brilliant adaptation of Rachel Seiffert's 'The Dark
Room', Lore promises to deliver what most other post-war films fail
to do - a fresh perspective with a nuanced, careful balance of good
Lore screens at Vox Cinemas, Marina Mall on
Tuesday 16 October at 6:45 pm and Friday 19 October at 5:45