Using previously unreleased archival material in addition to contemporary interviews, this academy award-winning documentary tells the story of the Frank family and presents the first ...
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Using previously unreleased archival material in addition to contemporary interviews, this academy award-winning documentary tells the story of the Frank family and presents the first fully-rounded portrait of their brash and free-spirited daughter Anne, perhaps the world's most famous victim of the Holocaust.Written by
Dawn M. Barclift
The first half is interesting, mostly interviews with friends and neighbors of the Franks before and during their time in hiding. But so much of that basic material is familiar to any who have read the diary, or know the play that there were few revelations, and I wasn't sure what the fuss was about.
But it is the second half of the film, that fills in with tremendous detail what happened to Anne and her family and friends after they were discovered, and after the diary ends that is overwhelmingly powerful.
I've struggled with many films and books about the Holocaust. It's all almost too much for the mind to take in, reducing human suffering to insane numbers, or piles of dead bodies that the brain can set up a sort of emotional firewall around. That's why the most powerful piece of art about the holocaust I'd encountered before this was Elie Wiesel's "Night" – by reducing the nightmare to one specific young boy's experience I could finally feel the emotional impact of the fact that all these numbers and photos of mass graves were real human beings.
'Anne Frank Remembered' has that same kind of power; by focusing the holocaust to one family's very specific experience, it paradoxically makes the enormity of all the suffering real and present.
And yet, like Anne Frank herself, this documentary, while overwhelmingly sad, also sees the good in people. As much as I wept (and boy did I weep) at the cruelty and death, I also wept at the courage and love shown by the friends and family who kept Anne alive, and the survivors who carry the memories of those who survived and chose to still embrace the world instead of running and hiding. How I wish I had that kind of courage and strength.
A truly important document of the human experience.
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