Passing for Children in Cate Shortland’s Lore

09 Oct 2017

This article is concerned with the 2012 feature, Lore, made in Germany by Australian director Cate Shortland, and based on the story of the same name by Rachel Seiffert. Focusing on a group of siblings and their odyssey across Germany at the end of the Second World War, the film explores questions of identity constitution and subversion in the transitional ground between childhood and adulthood, in particular as this is registered in bodily experience. The three main sections of the article focus on the family archive (not least through the medium of photography), structures of double identity (in particular around the figure of the German Jew), and aesthetic strategies of representation (especially framing and mirroring). Through these steps, the article probes the ethical, aesthetic and political stakes involved in representing the passing of children through the violence of history in what the director calls “grey zones.”