Starring: Saskia Rosendahl, Kai Malina, Ursina Lardi, Nele Trebs

Director: Cate Shortland

Rating: 3.5/5

Lore is a film that lit up the festival circuit last year and now Cate Shortland’s latest film has hit the big screen.

This is a brutal and dark movie that tackles some hard hitting issues in post World War II Germany and shows Shortland off at her filmmaking best.

Stranded with her younger siblings after their Nazi parents (Ursina Lardi, Hans-Jochen Wagner) are imprisoned, Lore (Saskia Rosendahl) leads the remains of her family across war-torn Germany in 1945.

To survive the children must reach their Grandmother's house in the North but amidst the chaos of a defeated nation, Lore encounters the mysterious and intriguing Thomas (Kai Malina), a young Jewish refugee.

Unwanted, unwelcome, Thomas follows them and Lore finds her fragile reality shattered by feelings of both hatred and desire.

To live, she must learn to trust a person she has been taught to hate. And as the consequences of her parent’s actions and beliefs become apparent, Lore must also start to face the darkness within herself.

Lore is a dark, unsettling and rather uncomfortable film that takes a look at Germany and the people living there after the Second World War.

The country is divided; people who were Nazi’s during the war and those who were not as Lore and her siblings have to deal with the consequences of her parent’s actions and decision.

Saskia Rosendahl is tremendous in the title role as a young girl who must become an adult overnight as she is entrusted with the care of her younger siblings.

Lore finds herself in a world that she doesn’t quite understand as the full horrors of the war and things that went on in Germany at time are revealed to her.

It is such a fearless performance from the young actress and you can only think that she has a very bright career ahead of her - particularly if she continues to churn out performances like this.

Her relationship with Thomas, a Jew, is the most fascinating of the film as she finds herself needing the help of someone she has been taught to hate.

But it is not just the central performance that makes Lore such an intriguing watch but the imagery that Shortland has captured.

She depicts Germany as a torn and scarred country - and while the imagery is incredibly bleak there is something beautifully eerie about it.

This striking backdrop notches up the tension as Shortland makes it feel like there is danger at every turn for Lore and her siblings and this makes the film a very visceral experience.

Lore is a complex drama that tackles wider WWII issues but it is also a coming of age drama as the central character leaves behind childhood as she is forced to face the truth.

Lore is out now

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
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