According to director Stephen Daldry, the ambiguity is intentional:
I think it's a complex story, and there is a great ambiguity. And one
of the things we work very hard to do is to maintain that ambiguity,
so people can have different responses to it. Mr. Schlink wrote the
book about a generational issue, about how to love. I think he wanted
Hanna Smitchz was, in a way, responsible for the the death of the 300 people. Her illiteracy does not omit her from the wrongs she had committed when she sent several people to die. Illiteracy is simply an academic disadvantage that may result to social difficulties, but would not necessarily blind her moral capabilities.
She was, unfortunately, framed by ...
Accortding to the script of The Reader:
INT. ILANA'S HOUSE. DAY
ILANA is standing at the window watching down to the street
where MICHAEL is walking away. She has the tin in her hand.
When he's vanished, she turns and goes into her bedroom.
There on the dressing table, there is a framed photo of ILANA
with her mother in ...
This goes back to the book, and some of the backstory that is not as illustrated in the movie adaptation.
In the book, it is much broader in the depiction of the physical closeness being much more than the mental closeness, as they do remain distant. During the later phases of their initial relationship, they begin losing that as Michael starts spending ...