The breakdown of a family serves as a microcosm for a country in despair in the closing days of World War II in the mesmerising Lore. As the German army collapses in the spring of 1945, five children are abandoned by their parents who flee because of their Nazi allegiances. The eldest sibling Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) must ensure the survival of her kin while traversing war torn Europe.
Lore is visually stunning with exceptional cinematography from Adam Arkapaw who balances a grimy soot covered landscape left behind by the war with the beautiful colours of nature that break through the gloom.
Writer/director Cate Shortland combines the exquisite visuals with a brutal story about survival, family and patriotism, that’s a running commentary on the state of Germany after the fall of the Third Reich. The family unit at the beginning of the film and the sins of the parents represent the atrocities committed by the Nazis with an emphasis on the holocaust. Immediately, it’s easy to dehumanize the children as the evil Nazi spawn of their parents, but Shortland thrusts them into the wild as innocents unaware of the horrors around them. The children are the future of their nation, yet Germany has been torn to shreds and condemned by the rest of the world - it’s no country for Nazi kids.
All the burden and pain is channeled through Rosendahl’s character and it’s a powerful performance. The character goes from adolescent to adult via a series of confronting moments where her morals and beliefs are challenged. Her vibrant youthful spirit is replaced with a burning rage that’s in contrast to the beautiful countryside of Europe that’s ripped up by conflict.
Lore is a view from the other side of the fallout from World War II and it’s a story that is has rarely been told outside of trenches and prison camps in film. The German refugees who had to rebuild their lives and beliefs after putting their faith in the hands of Adolf Hitler’s madness is heartbreaking. It’s possible that there will be living survivors and relatives all around the world who will applaud that this story is finally being told.
Lore is a thoughtful study of the politics of war and the devastating fallout it causes regardless of the winners and losers.
Cameron Williams - follow Cam on Twitter here: @popcornjunkies
Directed by: Cate Shortland
Written by: Cate Shortland
Starring: Saskia Rosendahl
Lore is out now in Australia in Limited Release.