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"Lore": Survivors Struggle Through Postwar Germany 

Wednesday, Feb 27 2013

Drawn from Rachel Seiffert's book The Dark Room, director Cate Shortland's Lore is the story of a German girl (Saskia Rosendahl) who has the bad luck of being the 12-year-old daughter of an SS officer at the end of World War II. Raised to believe that Hitler is good and Jewish people are bad, Lore's luck doesn't improve as she sets off on foot with her newly orphaned siblings to their grandmother's house in Hamburg. They traverse a rural Germany littered with corpses — a source of supplies for Lore and of food for the flies, who are having a very good year — as well as survivors coming to grips with the atrocities committed in their name, mostly by denying they happened. Accompanying Lore and her siblings is Thomas (Kai Malina), a Jewish boy with the haunted look of a character in an Andrei Tarkovsky film — and indeed, the lush, haunted Germany of the beautifully shot Lore is reminiscent of The Zone in Tarkovsky's pastoral sci-fi Stalker. But the evil that occurred in Lore's world was very real, and her own struggle to maintain her sanity in the aftermath may prove to be as futile as the war her country waged.

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Sherilyn Connelly


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