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Lore (Cate Shortland, 2012) German/Aust copro; Saskia Rosendahl, Nele Trebs, André Frid; war family melodrama

I'm surprised this has a title which Australians cannot pronounce and will very likely misread as another kind of 'lore'. In this case it's a girl's name, short for Hannelore.

Cate Shortland's exploration of the themes and subject matter of Rachel Seiffert's novel The Dark Room seems to match perfectly the book's fragmented exploration of these complex and painful issues. These being to do with the shattered, inexplicable nature of self for children of perpetrators - in this case Nazis. Shortland shows us images, often in close up, of just things that 'are', from objects to elements of nature, as part of the film's cinematic language. Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile.

"Someone asked me what the film was, and I think [the answer is that] it's an exploration of what it means to be human," Shortland says. "Because the kids have been made inhuman, and by the end of the film - I hate the idea that characters learn something - but I think at least she knows that she is the same as other human beings. She is no better, she is no worse. She's just that." Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian.

Few films recently have affected me as powerfully as Lore. It's an outstanding achievement from one of our most talented filmmakers. Margaret Pomeranz, At the Movies.

One of the problems I had with the film was that you didn't know actually how long the journey was because you didn't know where it started. ... the film, in very basic ways, failed to give me the information I wanted to really get into the story so that was a problem for me ... And the other thing, of course, for me is I found the photography extremely irritating, all this handheld nonsense. It just detracts from the film for me. It detracts from the drama. It calls attention to itself and I just don't know why it's used in the way it's used. It's meant to be realistic and it's quite the reverse, as far as I can see. David Stratton, At the Movies.

Garry Gillard | New: 15 December, 2012 | Now: 25 September, 2021