- Director:Cate Shortland
- Cast:Nele Trebs , Mika Seidel , Saskia Rosendahl , André Frid
- Release Date:September 20, 2012
- Running time:104 minutes
- Film Worth:$17.00
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A languid, poetic but emotionally powerful work, which reaffirms Cate Shortland’s talent behind the camera and announces a promising new talent in its lead actress.
Australian writer/director, Cate Shortland’s much talked about 2004 debut, Somersault, divided audiences, and her second feature – the German co-production, Lore – might produce a similar split. The film follows the trials of a young German family just after the end of WW2. The late parents were adherents to the general consensus of the time, and this involved bringing their family up as law-abiding citizens, including following Nazi beliefs. With Germany defeated, and the nation now overrun by conquering troops from the various allied armies, Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) realises that the family isn’t going to be too popular anymore. For want of a better plan, the teenage Lore takes her younger siblings on a trek to get to a distant aunt in Hamburg. Along the way, they meet a young man called Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina). At first, Lore recoils from him because he’s a Jewish survivor of the Nazi concentration camps. Slowly, however, she learns to re-orientate, and their relationship becomes even more complicated.
Because there isn’t much actual plot, and because the film is basically one journey, it can feel as if it is both drifting and episodic, with the sexual and ideological tension between Lore and Thomas setting the tone. Somersault also featured a young, sexually confused female protagonist, and this is clearly something that Shortland can bring to the screen with realism and emotional force. The sun-drenched cinematography of the spring days in rural Germany, meanwhile, adds an alluring and contrasting visual element to this somewhat dark story. The child actors – some of whom are quite young – are well handled. In the end, however, Lore (as per its title) is Saskia Rosendahl’s film, and it is her skilfully portrayed wary sense of wanting to fit into a baffling world that is the emotional core of the film.