‘Lore,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Her name is Lore (pronounced like Laura) and, from all appearances, she’s your typical petulant 14-year-old, focused on herself, with little time for her gaggle of siblings or her parents.

But then reality sets in: Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) is an adolescent in 1945 Germany. The war is coming to an end and the American and Russian occupations are beginning. Which means that both of her parents – her SS officer father and her similarly connected mother – are about to be arrested.

Cate Shortland’s “Lore” turns into a dark coming-of-age journey: Even as Americans arrive and her countrymen are forced to fend for themselves as the old rules disintegrate, Lore must shepherd her four siblings across the country, from their home in the south of Germany to Hamburg to her grandmother’s home. It’s a journey fraught with danger, including the threat of starvation and illness.

Lore is stolid and angry, unhappy at the responsibility but unwilling to shirk it. Her brothers and sister make her angry because they don’t seem to understand how serious this is. They’re just kids and so, when they can’t actually see the threat, they revert to childish pursuits.

Lore, however, understands – or thinks she understands – what she’s up against. She quickly realizes that other Germans aren’t going to cut her and her band any slack just because they’re kids. If anything, these youngsters are seen either as a burden or as potential prey.

This review continues on my website.

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