Q’s Netflix Queue: Lore

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Australian director Cate Shortland succeeds with Lore, a story of a young German woman coming to grips with the fate of her nation and her own personal ideals.

At the end of World War II, the Allied Forces were sweeping through Germany and Nazis fled the major cities. In the southwest region of Germany is the Black Forest, where Lore has been staying with her mother and four siblings. One day her Nazi father arrives only to leave shortly thereafter. Upon learning of Hitler’s demise, the mother takes off as well for an internment camp leaving Lore to look after the family.

Lore continues with daily tasks around the home, but discovers that her young brother has been caught stealing. She is forced to flee to their grandparent’s home near Hamburg which is over five-hundred miles away. At a local village, graphic photographs of concentration camps are shown, which an elderly woman describes as “American lies,” and another says “I had to look at dead Jews for hours just to get stale bread.” Lore must be strong for her family during their journey, but also begins to contemplate the idea of a bigger picture.

Saskia Rosendahl makes an unforgettable debut as Lore, the raging anti-Semite. While being questioned by Americans, she is aided by a young man named Thomas (Kai-Peter Malina) only to verbally assault him once she learns of his Jewish heritage. Lore accepts his company, but makes it clear that the Jew must not touch her siblings at any costs. Thomas has identification papers, only he doesn’t match the picture, which is unknown to Lore. Despite her intense hatred towards, Lore continues to be a sexual tease and even guides the hand of Thomas up her leg only to insult him once again. As the group travels on, they learn the awful truth about themselves and what is needed to survive in their new homeland.

The stunning cinematography of Adam Arkapaw (Animal Kinddom) is contrasted by the inner viciousness of Lore, who is mentally lost and navigating unknown landscapes, literally and figuratively. The spectacular performance by Saskia Rosendahl makes the film worth a watch, and proves that the young actress has a big future in the industry.

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