Cate Shortland's second feature film Lore is an historical drama set in Germany after the Second World War.
In this clip, Saskia Rosendahl as Hannelore 'Lore' Dressler confronts her Mutti (mother), played by Ursina Lardi, as she walks away from her family early one morning. Lore is left to explain the disappearance of her high-ranking Nazi parents to her younger siblings, played by Nele Trebs (Liesel), André Frid (Gunter), Mika Seidel (Jürgen) and Nick Holaschke (Baby Peter).
The scenes in this clip succinctly convey the beginning of Lore's transformation from a tearful 14-year-old girl, baffled by her mother's disappearance and believing in Nazi ideology, to becoming a young woman who is the guardian of her four young siblings and learns the truth of her parents' crimes. As with many of Cate's films, it is an examination of people under pressure learning difficult truths about themselves and those around them.
The astonishing performances of the children are made all the more impressive knowing that Cate directed a German-language film without speaking German herself.
Production and costume design are always a central storytelling device in Cate's films and in this excerpt we get clues about the privileged life the family have been living from Lore and Mutti's beautifully tailored clothes. The stunning countryside evident here is in constant contrast to the hardships faced by the children on their journey.
As in her other works Somersault (2004), Pentuphouse (1998), Joy (2000) and Berlin Syndrome (2017), Cate uses strong colour palettes to underline the emotional tone of each scene. This excerpt is a good example of Cate's and cinematographer Adam Arkapaw's decision to shoot much of the film at dusk and dawn when cool, blue hues dominate – emphasising the feeling of a country waking up to the knowledge of the murderous crimes committed by the Nazis.
The Australian, British and German co-production is based on one of the stories in Rachel Seiffert's novel The Dark Room (2001).
Lore was the Australian entry for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in 2013 and won a host of international awards including a Bronze Award from the German Film Awards, Critics Award for Best Film at the Hamburg Film Festival, Best Film at the Stockholm Film Festival, the Feature Film Award at the Hessian Film Awards and the audience prize at the Locarno Film Festival.
In Australia the film's prizes included an AACTA Award, Best Direction in a Feature Film from the Australian Directors Guild, five awards from the Australian Film Critics' Association, two awards from the Film Critics' Circle of Australia Awards and Best Feature Film – Adaptation from the Australian Writers' Guild.