Lore (DVD)

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Lore (DVD)

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Review of "Lore (DVD)"

published 17/02/2016 | thedevilinme
Member since : 13/05/2008
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"Innocent beauty amongst the depravity of war"

Not bad for 14!

Not bad for 14!

Star – Saskia Rosendahl
Genre – Action
Run Time – 109 minutes
Certificate – 1
Country – Germany
Awards – 30 Wins & 34 Nominations
Amazon – £5.99 DVD (Blue Ray £11.56)
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So ‘Lore’, based on the awarding wining book ‘The Dark Room’ by Rachael Sieiffert and transferred to the screen by Aussie Director Cate Shortland, who has only done two films so far, the other being the Australian movie Somersault. The Australian connection is relevant as this subtitled German war movie is funded by British and Australian money, somewhat counter intuitively directed by a non German speaking director. The less than one million dollar budget movie swept the boards at the 2013 Australian Oscars but managed only $3.4 million back. It’s better than that. As per usual a female director means a powerful female in the lead and negative male role models all around her. In this case it’s fully justified, a beautiful and powerful coming of age movie.

• 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


World War Two is over and a rather slovenly and defeated German officer (Hans-Jochen Wagner) and his beautiful family are packing quickly in Berlin. Hitler has shot himself in the bunker and the allies have swept into German to take control. The plan is for the family of four kids and a new baby to hide out in their secluded holiday home in the Black Forest until things cool down and for the parents to decide what to do next, maybe give themselves up to face trail or do what Hitler did and blow their brains out and poison the kids. The shame of losing and so facing their crimes is all too much for them.
At the cottage the food is short and their mother (Ursina Lardi) is soon pawning her rings and jewelry with the neighboring farm for provisions. But after three days or so the neighbors’ no longer want to provide provisions for the family and when one of the boy twins steals some eggs from their barn the outlive their welcome and on the move again. But beautiful daughter Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is literally left holding the baby as mother and father have left to face their fate. Father is a uniformed officer and will no doubt face jail or worse and mother is lost and numb heading back to Berlin for unknown reasons, leaving the five kids to fend for themselves. Lore is now the matriarch of her younger sister Liesel (Nele Trebs), the twin boys and one screaming baby, traipsing across fields towards Hamburg, where Lore tells the younger children their grandmother is waiting to take care of them.

It’s dangerous out there as desperate people try to survive in the idyllic countryside. The collapse the Reich also means the German people have to confront what Germany has been up to, including the death camps and holocaust.Lore is running out of things to pawn and the kids are unkempt and suffering from lice and bugs, no place for a young baby. But help comes from an unexpected quarter, a young Jewish man called Thomas (Kai Malina), drawn to the beautiful blue-eyed and blonde Lore. With his Star of David papers he can keep the Americans at bay but the nearer they get to Hamburg the bigger the risk. Tragedy is just around every corner. But through all this she is still a moody teenager learning about the world.


The Independent newspaper film critic summed this movie up perfectly: ‘The collapse of Nazi Germany, seen not from the slit of a Berlin bunker but through the innocent eyes of a 14-year-old girl is bewitching’. With a child's perspective on war, "Lore" has echoes of "Empire of the Sun" and "Hope and Glory”, two very good movies. It’s a stunning looking film and as beautiful as its super talented lead actress, Saskia Rosendahl, every inch the young Arian goddess. She is the perfection Hitler bred and she will witness the fall off his empire.

Every gentle breeze in the idyllic German countryside can signal calm as it can signal coming peril as the vulnerable young children face the world without adults, other adults ready to exploit them in the power vacuum in a near lawless countryside of foreboding silence. Some sneered at the film that it s was essentially Little Red Riding Hood and it certainly has a lot of fairytale qualities about it but whatever this is, it works.

It always amazes me how well kids can act and they are great here. Even the baby cries on cue. But Saskia Rosendahl is astonishing in the lead, powerfully and uncomfortably sexy at just 14 but as equally innocent. Her incredible eyes express every emotion at once a teenage girl has ever felt. Some of the subject mater is tricky and the sexual scenes between older men too much for some. But this is a young beautiful girl unleashed on a world she knows little about and with no parents around there are no rules, confronting a devastated country along the way and coming to terms with her father's crimes and a nation's guilt. On the nightmare journey she witnesses robbery, death and degradation, experiences hunger, fear and bewilderment and develops a sense of responsibility. Her father was probably involved in the mass murder of Jews and she will have to confront that at the end of her journey. From this film we learn Kate Shortland only makes a movie when she has something to say or a vision in her mind and this is certainly those two things.


Imdb.com – 7.1/10.0 (10,976votes)
Rottentomatos.com – % critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – % critic’s approval


-Special Features-



Chicago Tribune –‘Lore, from Australian director Cate Shortland, proceeds like a long-ago fairy tale, dark-hued, grounded in real-life 20th-century horrors’

Film Threat –‘Think "Little Red Riding Hood" meets The Road’
Movie dearest –‘.Unflinching but thoroughly engrossing, the film provides a rarely depicted look at the Holocaust's other innocent victims’.

Chicago Reader –‘Saskia Rosendahl gives an impressively poised performance as the beautiful teenager, whose determination to protect her remaining family coincides with her growing revulsion toward her parents’.

Toronto Times –‘With an eye for images that are both lush and foreboding, Cate Shortland dives confidently into a moral minefield and doesn't care about defusing the situation’.

TV Guide –‘The dream of every director tasked with bringing such a difficult story to life is to have a star who can carry the drama, and in her feature debut, Rosendahl is a revelation’.

Film School Rejects –‘ Shortland may not leave us with certainty, but in the context of so bloody a conflict fueled by intransigence and misguided idealism, the hope and the beauty of Lore is only strengthened by its embrace of youthful uncertainty’.

The Independent –‘. The collapse of Nazi Germany, seen not from a Berlin bunker but through the eyes of a 14-year-old girl’

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Comments on this review

  • duffatron published 15/03/2016
    exceptional. Great job
  • hiker published 13/03/2016
    Excellent review without being ott
  • Nymphypig published 19/02/2016
    I think I might have to add this to the watchlist!
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Product Information : Lore (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Country Of Origin: Germany

Classification: 15 years and over

Genre: Drama

Sub Genre: General

Video Category: World Cinema

DVD Region: DVD

Actor(s): Saskia Rosendahl, Kai-Peter Malina, Nele Trebs, Ursina Lardi

Director(s): Cate Shortland

EAN: 5021866646305


Listed on Ciao since: 10/02/2016