‘Lore’ Movie Review
“The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.”
‘Lore’ is a unique art house film under the umbrella of Holocaust cinema, as it focuses on a perspective that is rarely seen. It’s power is relentless as we witness our protagonists experience a world far different their parent’s teachings.
Hitler has fallen and the Allies have invaded Germany. Lore (Saskia Rosendahl), along with her four siblings must travel nearly 600 miles to their grandmother’s home after their high-up Nazi parents have been arrested by the Allied Troops. Lore and her siblings have been taught loyalty to Hitler, their country, and a deep hatred for Jews. With the new power in post-Hitler Germany, Lore’s family must travel the country in hiding as refugees. When they meet Thomas (Kai Malina), a young Jewish concentration camp survivor, who aids them on their journey, their opinions begin to change. As the tagline says: “When your life is a lie, who can you trust?”
‘Lore’ is an Australian-German war film directed by Cate Shortland (Somersault). It is a slow-building tour de force that leaves an impact. Shortland uses her artistic eye and almost unbearable realism to distinguish her film. The film is Not Rated, and because of this, it contains some very violent, gritty, gory, and unsettling scenes. The nudity is not tasteless and serves a purpose. The violence shows the hardships of any country during wartime. The film emits a cinéma vérité vibe as if we are just along for the ride watching life happen to this family.
Saskia Rosendahl leads the way as Lore and gives a performance that reminds everyone acting awards are just the opinions of few. She could have been and should have been nominated for any acting award both foreign and domestic. Cinema transcends cultural boundaries and her performance does as well. Even, with the stand-out performance by Rosendahl, the entire ensemble is fantastic. In fact, ‘Lore’ is easily the best acted movie by an entire cast that I have seen so far in 2013.
Shortland triumphs with this film due to the interesting perspective during an infamous period of time. Based on the novel, The Dark Room, by Rachel Seiffert, ‘Lore’ delves into the rarely seen German point-of-view after the fall of Hitler. It is even taken a step further and shown from the ‘innocent views’ of children who are brought up by Nazi parents. The film raises a question about parenting influence. Children do not choose their beliefs. They do not choose their religion. Those things are handed down to them from their parents, their heroes. However, there comes a time when the child forms opinions based on their own beliefs, mortalizing their parents. ‘Lore’ illustrates this in the most effective way.
This film will not be seen by the masses. It probably won’t even make enough money to cover its budget. However, it will impact everyone who sees it and it will linger in his or her mind for some time after.
‘Lore’ is a tragically beautiful tale that uses superb acting and striking imagery to deliver a punch. It is easily one of the best foreign films of the year.