Friday, March 14, 2014


So what does one do when everything you've ever known is lost and there are still four children looking to you for answers? Such is the story of Lore, a teenaged girl who is suddenly uprooted from her upper class home where she lived with her parents, younger sister, two younger brothers, and a new baby. They relocate to a tiny house in the Black Forest with the expectation that their father is to join them soon. Instead, their mother announces she must leave ahead of expected arrests following the collapse of The Third Reich. If she does not return, Lore has been instructed to take her brothers and sisters to Hamburg where their grandmother lives. Mom doesn't make it clear how Lore is to complete this nearly 600 mile task without transportation and only a handful of jewels but Mama ain't going to jail so Lore better deal.

And deal she does. Lore drags them from post to pillar, over the river, through the woods, leaving bits of her childhood behind and she faces the overwhelming responsibility before her. The kids cry, as to be expected. They get hungry, as to be expected. And they don't like sleeping in the damp woods, also, as to be expected. On top of all that, Lore picks up a maybe stalker who sets on edge every teenaged girl's burgeoning sense of sexuality.

Savior or stalker?

Lore is a hauntingly beautiful film based on The Dark Room, a short story written by Rachel Seiffert. The cinematography is excellent. Every shot evokes the feeling of bewilderment and uncertainty that dogs Lore's path. I have a soft spot for WWII flicks of all sorts but this one especially highlights one of the most intriguing aspects of the era for me, the effect of war on civilians, particularly German citizens. I think we fall into the common trap of seeing the Germans during the war as SS officers and Hitler youth and forget that many people struggled with pain, confusion, and lost in that time, regardless of which side they stood.

Lore is available on Netflix and Amazon. 

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