In an age of digitized self-commemoration, the idea of a teenager journaling their life under duress seems more like an inevitability than an act of defiance or historical necessity.
In the case of teenager Annelies Marie Frank, the diary she kept during the two years she was hidden in the secret annex of her father’s workplace in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation was never intended for publication.
Dedicated to an imaginary friend named Kitty, her words were published in 1947, two years after Anne and her older sister Margot died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in northern Germany.
Anne’s father, Otto, was freed from Auschwitz by the Russians and initially printed 3,000 copies of Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annex).
The book has been translated into more than 60 languages and the family’s hideout at 263 Prinsengracht opened as a museum in 1960.
Oscar-nominated Israeli writer-director Ari Folman, who grew up in a family of Holocaust survivors, tries to connect young audiences to Anne’s life in an animated fable that envisions imaginary friend Kitty as the heroine of a story charged with Politics in Amsterdam today. .
Simple but effective visual flourishes meld the two timelines and strike fear, especially as legions of menacing Nazis march on the Netherlands, identically clad in white masks and black cloaks as soul-sucking ghosts.
The subtlety and emotional power of the hand-drawn animation overshadows Folman’s script, which highlights the similarities between the persecution of the Jews during World War II and the forced deportation of refugees from Europe.
On a stormy night in contemporary Amsterdam, Kitty (voiced by Ruby Stokes) materializes from the diary pages, frozen in time and unaware of the grim fate of Anne and her loved ones.
Invisible to visitors to the Anne Frank House, Kitty watches a boy named Peter (Ralph Prosser) rummage through the pockets of tourists and eventually leaves the safety of the annex to visit the city’s key monuments dedicated to the life of the Anne Frank House. little girl.
Kitty’s odyssey sparks memories of Anne (Emily Carey) entering the sanctuary with her older sister Margot (Skye Bennett) and their parents Otto (Michael Maloney) and Edith (Samantha Spiro).
The family maintains a silent silence during the day to avoid detection and Anne documents her affection for Peter van Pels (Sebastian Croft) in the pages of the diary, a gift on her 13th birthday.
Where Is Anne Frank is tough on timely political rhetoric, but Folman’s inventive visual storytelling consistently impresses, as when Anne and Peter seem to wander the circuitry of a transistor radio.
Vibrant art options provide easy access for young audiences to one of the darkest chapters in European history and its aftermath.
Our rating: 6.5/10
Ireland Release: August 12
(PG, 100 min) Animation/Drama/War/Romance. With the voices of Ruby Stokes, Emily Carey, Ralph Prosser, Sebastian Croft, Michael Maloney, Samantha Spiro, Skye Bennett, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Stuart Miligan, Andrew Woodall. Director: Ari Folman.