With Lore, we’re one step closer to sympathizing with Nazi soldiers [VIFF 2012]

Lore Poster

Title: Lore
Genre(s): Drama, War
Director(s): Cate Shortland
Release Year: 2012
IMDB: 7.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

As a society, we have a hard time letting go of preconceived notions. The idea of someone being something more or less than what we were told ends up bewildering more so than enlightening, with World War II arguably being the best example. There’s no need to delve into the politics of it all, as anyone who has lived long enough already has in their mind that Nazis were bad and the Jewish population was unfairly persecuted. The trick now is being able to step away from a generalization and look at each person individually, deciding for yourself who is bad and who is good. Lore is a story of just that: breaking away from previously held convictions, and trying to find yourself in a world that has so radically changed. Cate Shortland has wonderfully adapted Rachel Seiffert’s novel, The Dark Room, and presented a breakthrough performance from newcomer Saskia Rosendahl, a talented actress that will surely be going places.

Lore is a film that writhes in its emotion, with a premise that instantly intrigues and hints at what will be a harrowing, and often times chilling movie. Saskia Rosendahl plays the eldest daughter of Nazi parents, Hannelore (or Lore, as most call her), and after they are forced to abandon their home and subsequently leave their children behind, Lore takes the lead in bringing her four siblings to their grandmother. What follows is a trek through the wilderness, crossing paths with soldiers, Jewish civilians, loyal followers of Hitler, and the most perplexing of all, Lore’s own understanding of the world. She sees photos of what the Nazi soldiers did to the Jewish people, but is never explicitly told what happened. She’s confused, as any person would be when they spend their entire life told one thing, then finding out it has all changed. If there’s a silver lining, she can’t find it. Perhaps the most significant moment of all is when she realizes it will never be the same, and that her world has changed too much to go back to the way it was, as she foolishly believes will happen in the beginning.

Check out the rest of the review after the jump.