It’s 1945 in a well-to-do home of loyal Nazis in Southern Germany, and a father (Wagner) flees in the face of the Allied Forces sweeping through the country. The mother (Lardi) entrusts her jewelry to her oldest daughter Lore (Rosendahl) and leaves to turn herself in. Alone and frightened, Lore and her four younger siblings set out for their grandmother’s house in the North. Whilst traversing 500 miles of the war-torn countryside, Lore’s eyes are opened to the horrors of the Nazi regime. Furthermore, a chance encounter with Jewish refugee Thomas (Malina) awakens her, both politically and on a more personal, visceral level.
Director Shortland scores with this award-winning, allegorical drama about a discredited ideology and defeated country at the end of World War II. The director’s camera, always moving and probing as it tracks Lore’s physical and emotional journey, evokes the chaos and utter devastation of Germany as its humiliating fate closes in on the populace. Rosendahl is a major discovery; her painful loss of innocence is poignant and believable, while her portrayal of conflicting attraction and revulsion for Thomas also hits home. “Lore” is at once a haunting coming-of-age story and a powerful anti-war drama.