||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the German Wikipedia. (July 2013)|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Cate Shortland|
|Produced by||Karsten Stöter
|Written by||Robin Mukherjee
|Based on||The Dark Room
by Rachel Seiffert
|Music by||Max Richter|
|Editing by||Veronika Jenet|
Edge City Films
|Distributed by||Transmission Films (Australia)
Piffl Medien (Germany)
Music Box Films (US)
|Running time||109 minutes|
Lore is a 2012 Australian-German war film written by Robin Mukherjee, co-written and directed by Cate Shortland and funded by the UK Film Council. The film had its Australian premiere at the 2012 Sydney Film Festival.
In southwestern Germany during the immediate aftermath of World War II, five destitute siblings must travel 900km to their grandmother's Husum Bay home near Hamburg after their high-level Nazi parents disappear in the face of certain arrest by Allied Forces. Along the way, they encounter a variety of other Germans, some of whom are helpful while others are antagonistic. Eventually they meet up with a young man who has been pretending to be Thomas, a young Jewish concentration camp survivor, who joins their group and becomes their unofficial guardian.
In the beginning the return of Vati, a Nazi Officer, derails the household. Immediately packing and fleeing their grand home they hide out in a rural house. With her father's disappearance and the death of Hitler, Muti turns herself in to the authorities, leaving Lore in charge with instructions to go to Omi's House if she is not back in three days. When the neighbors will no longer sell their food to Lore and the other children, Günther is caught stealing, expediting their departure from the Black Forest.
On their journey, Lore discovers the dead body of a woman on a seemingly abandoned property. While searching for Günther inside the house she happens upon a young man sleeping. Following a night when they dine on raw eggs and the baby is left to cry, they arrive at a nearby church and Lore pays a woman to suckle her infant brother Peter, the young man is there again. The truth of the Nazi atrocities is posted through news and photos in the town area for the people to see. That evening, he tries to sexually attack Lore as they are all staying in a school area. He follows them out of the town as they continue their journey. At a farm, Lore gives a gold bracelet and her mother's gold ring to an old woman in exchange for food. Again, Lore discovers the body of a dead man, having seemingly shot himself in the face, she steals his watch. The old woman begs Lore to leave the baby so that she can still get food, but she takes him and her siblings away.
While walking the baby to keep him quiet, Lore encounters the young man again, he does not attack her. She and her siblings continue as he walks behind. When confronted by American soldiers, the young man, Thomas, shows the soldiers jewish identification papers and claims to be their brother, the Americans give them a lift. Lore falls ill and Thomas provides food for the children. While bathing, Liesel questions why Lore doesn't like Thomas. Later Lore and Thomas have a brief sexual encounter. When they reach the river and cannot cross, Lore finds a man and tries to ask for help, he is uninterested in helping her. She allows him to make advances on her, when she spots Thomas also on the road. Thomas beats the man over the head with a rock, killing him, Lore is shaken. They take the man's boat and cross the river. Lore, afraid of Thomas now, backs into the river with Peter in her arms, going under. Thomas pulls them both up, wresting Peter from Lore and handing him over to Liesel.
Upon reaching the border but denied passage, Lore asks Thomas if he told the soldiers what they did, and he pulls her back from the guards. The trains are running again but they are in the Russian zone, trying to get to the British one. Walking at night in the forest, they've made camp when they smell cooking, Thomas goes off to investigate with instructions not to move until he returns. A restless Günther sees a man returning and runs off to join Thomas when he is shot down. The siblings are devastated but Thomas forces them to move or he will leave them behind.
In an argument with Lore, Thomas reveals he can't help them anymore and she takes her frustrations at the lie of Mutti and Vati being at Omi's House out on him, calling him a filthy jew. When she cries and begins to break down over all they have seen and done he does not leave. On the train, they are stopped for a check of papers and discovering his wallet is missing, Thomas jumps off the train to avoid detection. It is later revealed that Jürgen had stolen his wallet, so that he would not leave them. Jürgen reveals to Lore that the identification and papers belonged to a dead Jew named Thomas Weil and that their "Thomas" had only been impersonating him.
The four remaining siblings arrive at last at Omi's house where she takes them in, feeding them and telling them not to be ashamed of their parents. She mistakes Jürgen for Günther, and they reveal Günther's loss, saying he died in Russia. Lore takes the final "treasure" from her mother, a ceramic painted deer and places it in Mutti's room with the rest of a collection. Lore has difficulty adjusting, and takes no joy in dancing in the kitchen with Liesel. She retreats to the woods, where she again reviews the contents of Thomas' wallet. At the table, Jürgen grabs a piece of bread before being served and is scolded by Omi, asking where he ever learned such a thing. Lore, in turn grabs a piece of bread and starts eating it, she then knocks over her milk, allowing it to dribble over the table into her hand and then drinks it. Omi excuses her from the table. Lore then destroys the collection of ceramic deer under her heel and places the broken pieces on the dresser.
- Saskia Rosendahl as Lore
- Kai Malina as Thomas
- Nele Trebs as Liesel
- Ursina Lardi as Mutti (the mother)
- Hans-Jochen Wagner as Vati (the father)
- André Frid as Günther
- Mika Seidel as Jürgen
- Eva-Maria Hagen as Omi (the grandmother)
- Nick Holaschke as Peter
- Sven Pippig as Bauer
- Philip Wiegratz as Helmut
Initially the screenplay was written by Robin Mukherjee as an adaptation of The Dark Room. A few years later Cate Shortland joined the project and re-wrote part of the screenplay.
The film had its international premiere at the Festival del film Locarno in August, where it won the Piazza Grande audience award, the Prix du public UBS. At the Stockholm International Film Festival, in November, the film was awarded four awards, including the Bronze Horse for best film. It was selected as the Australian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, reviewer for Entertainment Weekly, gave the film a B+ and wrote, "This striking, slow-building drama from Cate Shortland (Somersault) uses fractured, impressionistic imagery as a mirror of moral dislocation as the children make their way through an unfamiliar landscape. If everything Lore (Saskia Rosendahl, capturing teen-girl sullenness) has been taught is wrong—about Hitler, about Jews, about the glory of her Vaterland—she might as well be walking on the moon."
Shane Danielsen of SBS awarded the film four stars out of five, commenting that "Beautiful, it may be, but it is by no means a bourgeois film...it is a rebuke to notions of middle-class propriety, as well as a formidable work in its own right."
Lore received the Feature Film Production of the Year Award at the 2013 Screen Producers Australia Awards. Lore also received the bronze award for Outstanding Feature Film at the German Film Awards. Lore has also received 17 other awards internationally.
- List of submissions to the 85th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- List of Australian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film
- "LORE (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 2012-12-07. Retrieved 2012-12-20.
- British Council Film (2012-01-20). "British Council Film: Lore". Film.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 2013-03-24.
- "Lore", Sydney Film Festival 2012 accessed 9 June 2012
- "Lore", Locarno Film Festival 2012 accessed 14 november 2012
- "Australian film Lore up for an Oscar". Vogue. Retrieved 7 September 2012.
- Schwarzbaum, Lisa (February 22, 2013). "Lore". Entertainment Weekly (New York: Time Inc.): 59.
- Danielsen, Shane. "Lore (review)". SBS. Retrieved 14 February 2013.