I don’t know if it was the long wait between good films or if maybe it had something to do with the three wines I drank while watching it, but throughout Lore I found myself repeating “wow, this is really good”. It’s a bit sad that there’s so few films that impress me I’m compelled to declare it out loud when one finally does, but there you have it.
I want to describe Lore in terms as lush as the film-making, but I’m afraid I’ll sound like some wanky film reviewer. I want to say that it’s moving and haunting and beautifully shot and all the acting is brilliant, that it’s a refreshingly new look at the holocaust from an angle we’ve never seen before (well I certainly haven’t), a subject we’ve seen so many times on celluloid that we might be tempted to skip the film if we hadn’t been told otherwise. But I’m not sure using the words refreshing and holocaust in the same sentence is a good idea either.
So instead let’s talk about who made it. As the credits began to roll I noticed Lore had funding from not only Germany, but Film Australia and Scotland. What a strange bunch. Then I saw that the director was Cate Shortland, an Australian known – in Oz anyway – for her 2004 debut Somersault, a film which catapulted the careers of Sam Worthington and Abby Cornish to Hollywood. If those names mean nothing to you, have yourself a look at Seven Psychopaths or that little indie film from a few years ago called Avatar.
So what’s an Australian doing writing and directing a German language film about World War 2? I was intrigued, and the film hadn’t even begun yet. Well it turns out Shortland is Jewish Australian, her husband’s family are German Jews and when both he and a Scottish producer gave her the book containing the story Lore is based on, independently of each other, she began to think the universe was talking to her. Initially fully funded by the UK Film Council, all that money was lost with the financial crash. So they passed around a very big donation jar and it was Australia, Scotland and Germany who came to the rescue. Mystery solved. Continue reading