Lore: World War II is over, Hitler is dead, but no-one is free like you’d expect, and the time has come for a family living in SW Germany to be separated.
Lore’s parents are high-level Nazis and fear their arrest is imminent, so they’re going to attempt to abscond rather than face arrest. They knew this day would come, but for Lore (Saskia Rosendahl, below) and the rest of her siblings, it comes at the price of not knowing when they’ll see the heads of the family again, if ever.
What follows is a very bizarre film as Lore and her sister, Liesel (Nele Trebs), two brothers – Günther (André Frid) and Jürgen (Mika Seidel), and new baby brother Peter (Nick Holaschke) have to set off on their own, trying to find their way to their aunt Omi’s house during a period of horrendous uncertainty.
Along the way, they meet the mysterious Thomas (Kai Malina, below), a young Jewish refugee who both intrigues and repulses Lore in equal measure – the reason for the latter feeling being that he is the sort of person she’s always been taught to hate, yet he becomes an integral part of the group.
It’s difficult to say much more about it without giving spoilers, because it’s essentially a road movie where they travel the 560-mile journey and it’s about the people and challenges they face on the way. There’s great acting from the two leads, Saskia Rosendahl and Kai Malina, while the rest of the cast on-screen are mostly the children who have a basic job to do.
Without giving details, I’ll also add that it finds a good point to set an ending, then ruins that by carrying on a few minutes more and rather fizzling out, but what comes before it is worth a watch even though it’s far from the best WW2-inspired movie I’ve seen.
The film is presented in the original theatrical ratio of 1.85:1 and looks crisp and clear with no problems, perfectly evoking the feel of the period following the end of World War II.
Soundwise, my amp says DTS, but IMDB tells me it’s just Dolby Digital. I don’t recognise anything in particular happening in the rears, anyway.
There are only three extras on this disc:
- A Conversation with director Cate Shortland (13:31): Well, not quite a conversation as it’s a series of Q&As – with silent boards being in position of the questions – with Cate Shortland talking about how the film came about, such as the fact that in the three novellas that make the backing for the story, Mutti was jailed for 2½ years, while Vati’s sentence was 10 years.
- Making Of (16:03): Cate Shortland talks about the film’s premise, there’s casting footage and general on-set filming footage and info such as the fact almost all of the film was shot hand-held, partly because of a short shooting schedule and partly because it suited the film better.
It’s interesting that the character of Thomas had a lot more dialogue in the script, but the actor refused to say it. This actually aids his air of mystery.
- Trailer (2:17): Presented in 16:9, the trailer sums some aspects of the film up without being spoiler-heavy.
The menu features a small section of the incidental music over and over, there are subtitles in English, but the chaptering is a woeful 12 over the 109-minute running time. I go by the rule of thumb of one every five minutes, taking into account one each for the opening and closing credits.
Running time: 109 minutes
Date of release: May 27th 2013
Distributor: Artificial Eye
Cat no: ART065BD
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS 5.1
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Cate Shortland
Producers: Benny Drechsel, Karsten Stöter, Liz Watts and Paul Welsh
Screenplay: Cate Shortland and Robin Mukherjee (based on the novel “The Dark Room” by Rachel Seiffert)
Music: Max Richter
Lore: Saskia Rosendahl
Liesel: Nele Trebs
Günther: André Frid
Jürgen: Mika Seidel
Thomas: Kai Malina
Peter: Nick Holaschke
Mutti: Ursina Lardi
Vati: Hans-Jochen Wagner