Cate Shortland is best known for her 2004 multi-award winning debut film, Somersault. Lore is a stark contrast to that earlier film. Written in German by Shortland, this Australian film was filmed entirely in Germany.
Lore tells the story of Hannelore, the oldest daughter of five children. Her parents are Nazis and at the end of war, and with the death of Hitler, they instruct their children to journey from the Black Forest to their grandmother’s home Hamburg. They abandon them to this journey as a way of ensuring they will not be arrested by the Americans.
Jury chair Fr Richard Leonard SJ said, “The jury was impressed by the themes that this beautifully-made film holds together: a survival trek, loss of innocence and discernment.”
Morally what is most impressive is the relationship that develops between Lore and a young man, Thomas, who instructs the children to say he is their older brother. He says he is a Jew. He has the yellow Jewish star in his documents. Everything in Lore’s moral view of the world is challenged by Thomas. This family’s children have been part of the Hitler youth. A previously despised Jew is now their saviour.
“The relationship with Thomas is not just their as the romantic interest. It is the moral compass of the film, as Lore’s need to survive is in conflict with her terribly distorted formation. The impossible journey Lore makes in this film is much more than the physical; it is the entry into seeing, believing and trusting in a common humanity. This film is about conversion.” Fr Leonard said.
The jury also commended The Sapphires.
Previous winners of the ACFO’s Film of the year include Oranges & Sunshine, The Waiting City, Samson & Delilah, The Black Balloon, The Jammed, Ten Canoes, Look Both Ways, Tom White, Japanese Story, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Tracker, Facing the Music and Looking for Alibrandi.
Fr Richard Leonard SJ, the Director of the Australian Catholic Film Office is available for interviews or comment on 02 89184119 or 0409 120 928.