Passing for Children in Cate Shortland’s Lore

in Screen Bodies
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This article is concerned with the 2012 feature Lore, which was made in Germany by Australian director Cate Shortland and is 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 World War II, 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 this 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.”

Contributor Notes

Andrew J. Webber is Professor of Modern German and Comparative Culture at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Churchill College. He has published widely on textual and screen culture. His books include The European Avant-garde, 1900–1940 (2004) Berlin in the Twentieth Century: A Cultural Topography (2011), and—most recently, as editor—the Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Berlin (2017). E-mail:

Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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