Lore is about a girl who is on the brink of womanhood when she is abandoned by her parents. She must guide her younger siblings through dangerous places to their grandmother’s house. It is happening just when the Third Reich is at its final stages of collapse.
Lore is the second movie by Australian director Cate Shortland. Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is a 14 year old girl who is happy that her father (Hans Jochen-Wagner) is back from the war. The father is busy burning documents and evading the Allies. Mutti (Ursina Lardi) is angry at her husband’s spinelessness and turns herself in to the enemy. She tells Lore to take her siblings to Hamburg, which is 500 kilometers away.
Filmmaker Shortland creates a dreadful tale that takes viewers into Lore’s emotions and mind. The places they have to cross is full of bombed buildings, panicking survivors and dead bodies. Food is scarce and there are constant threats of death and rape. The younger children don’t seem to understand their situation but Lore has seen the images that come from Auschwitz and this added a complexity into her personality.
Shortland’s first movie is Somersault and it made a star of Abbie Cornish, who played a rebellious, sexually confused teenager. Lore is an adaptation of Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark room. Viewers don’t usually see the big picture because Lore can’t get it out of her head.
Saskia Rosendahl is a newcomer and her performance in Lore is not that great but not that bad either. Part of her journey is sexual in nature when they are joined by Thomas (Kai Malina). His papers identify him as a Jew and he becomes the kids’ protector going to Hamburg. Lore is attracted to him and you can blame it on the combination of her hormones, guilt and hatred. It leads her to do things that would release her into the abyss even further.
Lore is a type of movie that you will watch once and wouldn’t repeat it again. It is a poetic portrayal of a young lady’s blossoming beyond innocence and denial. She has to fight her personal wars from within after the war outside has ended.