This happens often in the war zones, with parents killed or missing and children left to stand up for themselves or turned into soldiers. Cate Shortland‘s new film Lore, opening in the UK cinemas on Friday, looks at five children left to their own devices as Second World War is reaching its end, bringing the victory of the Allied forces, desired by all but the ones still standing by the Nazi party and its rotten ideology.
Saskia Rosendhal as Lore in Cate Shortland’s film of the same name
Shortland’s film is based on a novella by Rachel Seiffert and what makes it interesting is that 15-year-old Lore and her four siblings are Nazi kids whose father was most likely involved in mass murder performed in concentration camps. How much is Lore aware of her parents’ decisions and how does she negotiate her inherited guilt? Condemning the sins of their parents, do the viewers sympathise with these young Germans?
I think that the success of the film hinges on the young actors’ performances, especially that by 19-year-old Saskia Rosendahl as Lore. She brilliantly conveys the complexity of exploring the war guilt through the eyes of the innocent: not victims but the children of perpetrators. Young and potentially vulnerable, Lore is unapologetic: she needs all her strength to protect herself and her siblings and she is prepared to go far to achieve it. Watching this “Aryan goddess”, with her serious, clear blue eyes and crown of blonde hair, it is impossible to forget that her strength is rooted in the toxic ideology she was fed throughout her life.