Sunday, February 24, 2013


At the close of World War II, a Nazi girl must lead her young siblings across a divided Germany to find safety in Hamburg—and her only hope lies in a recently liberated Jew she simultaneously loathes and desires.

Had this movie been made in Hollywood, it would be awful, wouldn't it? The little Nazi girl would learn an important lesson about how Jews can be good people—the very best of people, even—and discard the world-view she'd been indoctrinated into for the past 14 years, experiencing the imprisonment and death of her parents as a mere road bump on the way to enlightenment.

So, you know, good thing it'd never be made in Hollywood. It'd end up being a WWII-themed Enemy Mine.

The bad news is that, well, it's still not very good. It's well done enough. And it may come as a shock to some that losing the war didn't instantly change the German's minds about Jews, so I guess there's some value there.

Problem is, these are some seriously unlikable characters. Our heroic Jew isn't much of a hero. His early intentions toward Lore are aggressively sexual, possibly even rape-y, and she's about 14. What seems to hold him back is that she looks at him as sub-human, even while lusting toward him.

Once all is revealed, this is actually worse than it sounds.

In the end, Lore has a character arc that takes her from immature child to adult, I guess, though this culminates with a kind of temper tantrum.

I don't know. Sure, it's not a perspective you see a lot of in the movies—even with the hundreds of movies about WWII out there—but maybe that's because it's a mine field of unpleasantness that isn't all that revealing about human nature.

The Boy and I were sort of "huh" about the whole thing. You know, where you say, "What did you think?" and the other person says "Huh." In fact, I don't think we asked each other. I think we just walked out saying "Huh."

Other than that, it's well shot, well acted, even well directed, although the dramatic tension suffers from the characters being kind of uninteresting and certainly unlikable. Hard to recommend, tho'.

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