The long-awaited follow-up to her exquisite Somersault, Australian director Cate Shortland’s adaptation of the novel The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert is a sensual and complex story that explores the tribulations faced by the young in the aftermath of World War II. When their Nazi SS parents are taken into Allied custody, five siblings are left to fend for themselves. Teenaged Lore, the oldest, takes charge, and the children set out to join their grandmother in Hamburg, some 900 km away. Along the arduous journey, the children encounter a populace suffering from postwar denial and deprivation, and for the first time are exposed to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. With food hard to come by, and the journey becoming ever more dangerous, the children meet Thomas, a young Jewish survivor who helps them negotiate their way through tricky situations. Lore is both repulsed by and attracted to Thomas. All that she has been taught leads her to believe that he is the enemy, but his industriousness, generosity and physicality prove alluring. A coming-of-age tale set against the backdrop of a changing world, Lore shows new life emerging out of darkness with great intelligence and subtlety.
Cate Shortland is an Australian writer and director of film and television.
She was born 10 August 1968 in Temora, New South Wales. She graduated from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, where she received the Southern Star Award for most promising student.
She has created several award winning short films: Strap on Olympia (1995); Pentuphouse (1998); Flower Girl (2000); and Joy (2000)
Cate spent three years directing episodes of the Network Ten television series, The Secret Life of Us.
In 2004 she released her debut feature length film, Somersault (2004), which was entered in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.
Her second feature, Lore, had its Australian premiere at the 2012 Sydney Film Festival. It won at the Locarno International Film Festival in August 2012 the Prix du Public UBS. In november the film won the Bronze Horse for best film at the Stockholm International Film Festival. The film was selected… read more
A welcome exploration of an underexplored part on the German front at the very end of World War 2. However, it lacks the distinctive virtuoso qualities of two masterpieces dealing with similar themes from other nations: namely the hallucinogenic horror of "Come And See" or the superb balance between light and dark of "Grave Of The Fireflies".
Very atmospheric (Max Richter’s beautiful score helps) + lots of beautiful tight shots of faces, hands and feet, accompanied by the occasional rural pillow shots (the best ones are of the Black Forest) + the fascinating plot (with a very interesting reveal at the end) and Saskia Rosendahl’s breakout performance in the lead make Lore’s journey all the more gripping to follow. Also very impressed by Nele Trebs.