She is the most enduring martyr of the Holocaust. The diary that she kept while hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam has sold 25 million copies in 54 languages since its publication in 1947. And, through stage and screen adaptations, Anne Frank has almost become a fictional icon, fulfilling her teenage wish for artistic immortality—“I want to go on living after my
death,” she wrote. But Anne Frank Remembered, which recently won the Oscar for best documentary feature, goes beyond the diary to present an eyewitness portrait of Frank through the testimony of family, friends and concentration camp survivors—along with newly uncovered photos, letters and archival footage.
Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, with Glenn Close reading diary excerpts, the film charts Frank’s life in microscopic detail. London-based director Jon Blair uses special effects to recreate the Frank family’s hiding place as it was more than 50 years ago—ghostlike, the furniture keeps fading away to show the bare walls of the Amsterdam annex as it is today. Reconstructing as well as documenting, Blair shoots haunting images of Auschwitz at night. And by bringing survivors back to the death camps, he stages some harrowing reminiscences. But most striking are the sim-
ple interviews with Miep Gies, the woman who protected the Amsterdam hiding place and who discovered the diary. Showing the diary to Anne’s father only after he had confirmed her death, she remained to the end a keeper of secrets.
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