Music Box Films | Release Date: February 8, 2013
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 23 Ratings
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10
ShiiraJul 12, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One minute, the bigot in the bar, holding court at a table full of enabling friends, regales angrily about being passed over for a promotion to a Jew(because "I'm better than a Jew," he says), and then the next minute, in Time Out(from The Twilight Zone: The Movie), the bigot stands outside the tavern, staring out at Nazi-era Germany. The door, now a transmogrified wall, marks the beginning of a fever dream, in which the bigot pinballs between Berlin and Vietnam, learning firsthand about being "the other" in the midst of a pogrom. Ultimately, the American is forcibly escorted onto a train headed for Auschwitz, where he will, no doubt, burn in a crematorium. Not so dissimilar to Time Out, an unnamed journalist, the wife of a Nazi soldier, in A Woman in Berlin, also over drinks, albeit at a swankier affair and setting(a party at a hotel), likewise, denigrates the Jews, but implicitly. Even worse than pontificating about the inferiority of the Jewish people through slurs, they go unmentioned, in which she advocates the ongoing holocaust by asking for "a moment of silence", a heartfelt testimonial to honor the "brave" young men fighting across the European expanse. Six million dead later, the quietly anti-Semitic woman takes a walk in her enemy's shoes, as the film expands on Time Out's idea of comeuppance for racists, when she finds herself being raped by a Russian soldier and the ensuing ironic humiliation, upon the dawning that this basest of all subjugations is the Red Army's prerogative. The film itself is a reveal, that epiphanic moment when the audience has to reorientate themselves to the narrative's time and place, that climaxing reversal of fortune which characterizes The Twilight Zone occurs, here, instead at the outset, since the bombed-out buildings and the abounding detritus of war, with a start, we realize, doesn't belong to Krakow. It's a ghetto all right, but it's Berlin's ghetto. That's the twist. Continuing where Downfall left off, in Lore(adapted from Rachel Seiffert's triptych novel The Dark Room), the German side, once again, is given the agency, which to the controversy of some, humanizes the Nazi Party by precluding Jews from the narrative, a schematic necessity since the casual cruelty inflicted on the Polish citizenry, as seen in past films, would make it impossible for the audience to contemplate on the suffering that Germany endured in post-war Europe. What should we feel when Gunter, the son of a Nazi commandant, is gunned down beneath the foliage of trees? Unlike the Von Trapp children in The Sound of Music, Lore and her siblings are far from being naifs; their father is too close to Hitler's inner circle, and in fact, are collaborators, when during the evacuation sequence, we see them destroying documents alongside their parents, war criminals both. The restraint that Lore displays after Vater shoots the dog in cold blood is a restraint born out of Hitler Youth-taught ideology, which empoisons her mind with the concept of Aryan superiority over non-Aryans and animals alike. Hiding out in the Black Forest, the proud family makes no pretense of assimilation among the pastoral folks, presenting themselves as superior to the apolitical farmers, conveyed through their fancy dress and having the means to pay for comestibles. It's a crucifix, not the party symbol, a swastika, that affixes the side of a family's modest house. Lore and the beloved Julie Andrews musical, perhaps, not so coincidentally, share a common character name: Liesl, since the moving afterimage of these children journeying by foot towards Hamburg recalls the Von Trapp clan's hilly landscaped escape to Switzerland while "Climb Every Mountain" plays over the soundtrack. Aware of such iconography, the filmmaker includes a brief song interlude, turning Lore ephemerally into a parodical anti-musical, when the twins, Gunter and Jurgen, perform a war song that exhorts nationalism to an old woman, a fervent Hitler supporter. Do they understand the words? Yes. Gunter died thinking that Tomas, a camp survivor who provides safe passage across a reapportioned Germany, was one of them, a Nazi. Jurgen, in showing his sister the wallet he stole from Tomas, reveals that he too knows about the camps, repeating Tomas' words: "The man was a Jew. He was dead anyway," words that Tomas used to explain how the yellow star would help him deal with Americans. The theft protects Tomas from Oma. In the documentary Hitler's Children, author Niklas Frank explains how he executes his parents anew at every one of his public readings. Like Lore, the son of a Polish Governor-General was no innocent. Conversely, like Niklas, the duped young woman severs ties with her Nazi past, in the form of smashing a beloved deer figurine belonging to Mutti, which she smashes to smithereens with the heel of her shoe. But what about the other three? Niklas' siblings never repented. Will they? Expand
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8
wiggipopMay 18, 2013
Very well made film with a refreshing take on WWII. The strongest element of the film is how it is shot, there is beauty found in every frame. The story moves along at a good pace, filled with tension. Performances are good, especially from aVery well made film with a refreshing take on WWII. The strongest element of the film is how it is shot, there is beauty found in every frame. The story moves along at a good pace, filled with tension. Performances are good, especially from a mostly young cast, however the central character of Lore, played excellently by Saskia Lumenthal, was quite frustrating; there were moments where she needed a kick up the backside. Ultimately though, this is an impressive film. Expand
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8
Nesbitt10Aug 3, 2013
Director/writer Cate Shortland has created something truly remarkable, forcing us to find within ourselves sympathy for a young Nazi. The story is grim and dense, but features one hell of a lead performance. Shortland combines wonderfulDirector/writer Cate Shortland has created something truly remarkable, forcing us to find within ourselves sympathy for a young Nazi. The story is grim and dense, but features one hell of a lead performance. Shortland combines wonderful visuals with a brutal story of survival, involving family and patriotism, and a running commentary on the state of Germany after the fall of the Third Reich.

As the German army collapses in the spring of 1945, the breakdown of a family serves as a microcosm of a country in despair in the closing days of World War II.
Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) and her four younger siblings are abandoned as their Nazi-supporting parents are forced to flee the Allied forces. As they travel on foot to their grandmother’s house in Hamburg, the children encounter a young Jewish refuge, Thomas, on whom they are forced to rely for both food and safe passage through Ally-occupied lands. As she is exposed to the lies of their parents, and begins to develop feelings for one whom she has been taught to hate, Lore is forced to come to terms with a belief system that is quickly unraveling.

It’s the children that have to do all the heavy lifting in the film dramatically, and they carry their weight, and then some. The film is anchored by a remarkable lead performance from Rosendahl, who comes across as a seasoned veteran, despite this being her debut performance. Her character goes from obnoxious adolescent to young adult, via a series of confronting moments where her morals and beliefs are challenged. Her vibrant youthful spirit is replaced with a burning rage with a war torn Europe as the backdrop.

A new perspective on an event often forces an audience to confront disturbing realities they may wish to avoid. Although “Lore” relates a story from the second world war, it reveals the point of view of those we do not often consider: children of a high-ranking Nazi official. This story may not be pleasant, but it is certainly fascinating.
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10
SteveRRDec 24, 2013
This movie is brilliant but beware if you like your films wrapped up in a nice bow with good guys and bad guys carefully identified look elsewhere
For those of us who realize that life is grey and never black & white it is great
This movie is brilliant but beware if you like your films wrapped up in a nice bow with good guys and bad guys carefully identified look elsewhere
For those of us who realize that life is grey and never black & white it is great story-telling
Subtle slow methodical building through-out.
Yes the young jew is never fleshed out that is a conscious decision for pete's sake he represents the faceless nameless millions of jews slaughtered in the camps.
I could go on and on about the artistic choices yes there is cut-away to nature once again a choice contrasting the children with uncaring, always going on nature it doesn't care that there has been a war that the kids may die it just is an existential presence throughout -see any of Malik's films for heaven's sake.
Anyway brilliant and moving see it think about if it does not haunt you you're a moron
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10
kcomayNov 5, 2016
Beginning just after the death of Hitler, Lore is a coming of age story of a young girl who is forced into adulthood while leading her 4 younger siblings through a war torn Germany. Raised by Nazi propaganda, these quintessential Aryan youthsBeginning just after the death of Hitler, Lore is a coming of age story of a young girl who is forced into adulthood while leading her 4 younger siblings through a war torn Germany. Raised by Nazi propaganda, these quintessential Aryan youths do not feel the affects of WWII directly, but through their interactions with others whom the war has directly and oftentimes severely affected. After the arrest of their parents, the children embark on a fairytale like journey through the woods, where the familiar world has been replaced with one of horror and the comforts of their propagandized childhood slowly unravel to reveal a haunted wasteland.

This film sneaks up on you, just as the realization of her homeland and her parent's crimes sneak up on the protagonist. When the group meets up with a concentration camp survivor, they are at their lowest point, and the turning point of the film. The relationships are quiet and don't rely on words to conquer the heart but gestures and glances that reveal so much more then they have the right to. The visuals are stunning and unguarded and create a setting equal in beauty and truth and therefore burdensome to bear. As the characters finally begin to see things clearly, the viewers become confounded with a last minute turn of events that will leave you thinking about this film long past the credits,
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