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Lore | Review

LORE, the second film from Australian director Cate Shortland (Somersault) is a riveting and complex look into a rarely seen legacy of the Holocaust.

When her SS officer father and mother, a staunch Nazi believer, are captured by the allies at the end of World War II, Lore, a fourteen-year-old German girl (Saskia Rosendahl) is left to fend for herself and must lead her four siblings on a harrowing journey across a devastated country. When she meets the charismatic and mysterious young refugee Thomas, (Kai Malina, The White Ribbon,) Lore soon finds her world shattered by feelings of hatred and desire as she must put her trust in the very person she was always taught to hate in order to survive.

loreLore is more than an average coming of age tale as it slowly simmers, teasing and testing us with the question “How can someone be wrong for believing what they are raised to” and more importantly that there are always casualties on both sides of any war.  The story is a triumph in showing how far one goes to protect the ones that they love and to whom they are duty bound.

Striking newcomer Saskia Rosendahl is a pleasure to watch and will certainly be noticed for this mesmerizing performance in the title role.  Her quiet beauty and display of emotion is admirable for someone so young and she is supported by an equally talented younger cast.

Screenwriters Shortland and Robin Mukherjee have done a marvelous job of adapting Rachel Seiffert’s novel The Dark Room (Man Booker Prize finalist, LA Times Prize for First Fiction).  In fact, Random House will re-publish the novel The Dark Room to coincide with the film’s February theatrical release.

Cinematographer Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kingdom, Snowtown) does an equally fine job of capturing the bleak and lush landscapes of the countryside.  At times we feel like we are watching a painting unfolding.

LORE opened in Los Angeles and New York on February 8 and will be followed by a national roll-out

Winner: Audience Award, 2012 Locarno Film Festival

Winner: Golden Starfish Narrative Feature Award, 2012 Hamptons Film Festival

Winner: Kodak Award for Cinematography,  2012 Hamptons Film Festival

Winner: Bronze Horse for Best Film, Saskia Rosendahl for Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score, 2012 Stockholm Film Festival  

Winner: Best Film, 2012 Hamburg Film Festival  

Official Selection: 2012 Toronto International Film Festival-Special Presentations

Official Selection: 2012 Locarno Film Festival Winner: Audience Award

Official Selection: 2012 Sydney Film Festival

2013 Australian Film Institute Awards (Australian Oscars)- Nominated for Best Film, Best Young Actor, Best Direction, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design,  Best Production Design, Best Sound  

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