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In only her second feature, director Shortland again tackles a tough subject, this time the way Germans coped with their defeat as World War Two ended.
The story is seen through the struggle of the title character, a 15-year-old on the verge of sexual awakening who is instead obliged to act as a mother to her four younger siblings. The five of them flee the conquering Allies and seek haven beyond Hamburg, aided by Thomas, a Jewish refugee, who stirs the entire family’s anti-Semitic fervour as well as Lore’s confused emotions (echoing the theme of Shortland’s SOMERSAULT).
As their plight grows increasingly desperate and it becomes clear that their beloved Führer is dead, Lore’s moral compass begins to waver, although her resolve does not.
This powerful film is made all the more compelling by its fantastic central performances.