However, our protagonist also realises that if she and her family are to survive, she must cooperate with a man she sees as beneath her. Based on Rachel Seiffert's Booker Prize-shortlisted novel The Dark Room, Shortland has had a difficult task on her hand creating a sympathetic lead character in Lore - yet this is exactly what she achieves. Despite the character's bile and anger towards the Jews and her cult-like worship of the recently deceased Führer, it's immediately apparent that she is a victim of her time and parentage.
Adam Arkapaw's rich cinematography provides a beautiful and occasionally ethereal quality to the film. Particularly potent are scenes with the backdrop of the Black Forest which becomes a nightmarish, fairytale world where the innocent play of children is stripped away to become a war front. Accompanying this is an intelligent understanding of filmic grammar by the director that allows the levels of the film to be revealed throughout. However, whilst he tone of the drama is suitably oppressive and tense, the odd moment of relief would have perhaps been welcome.
This minor criticism aside, with Lore, Shortland has created a moving, intriguing and complex film, which provides one of the most intelligent and honest approaches to both Nazism and the holocaust seen on screen in recent years.
This review was originally posted on 13 October, 2012, as part of our London Film Festival coverage.