4th of August 1944. The young Anne Frank is deported from her Achterhuis, in which she was hiding during the Second World War, to the terrible German concentration camps. A year later she will sadly pass away due to the cruelty that was waiting for her there.
It has been 75 ago since those tragic events happened but they’re still as vivid as they were back then. Not only because of the survivors who made it out of the concentration camps but also because of the immensely moving films and documentaries made about the brutality that happened between 1940 – 1945.
Thanks to directors Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto (“Father Lenin e i suoi fratelli” )and their “#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories” we can add another stunning documentary to that.
The direction of “#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories” is very straightforward. On one side we hear and see the stories of Anna Frank, from her childhood to her life as a refugee in The Netherlands and the moment she’s been dragged to the concentration camps.
They’re being told by the Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren ( “Anna“, “Trimbo“) right from the heart of the Achterhuis. Maybe not the actual Achterhuis but it could have easily been due to the great work of the set designer who reconstructed the hiding place meticulously to every last detail.
Together with the real-life, emotional and heartbreaking story, the dark and grim elements of World War II are already being represented on screen in the greatest way possible.
However, there’s still also the other side of “#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories” in which the young actress Martina Gatti is guiding the viewers alongside and through multiple locations that were vital in Anne’s short but immensely important life.
Just like Frank, Gatti has her diary. More modern (as it’s her Instagram page, hence the # in the title) but with the same effect. Thinking about life, writing down (or in this case: posting) thoughts and hoping that people would understand.
Through her social media, she’s connecting the past with the modern society and also shows us there’s still a lot of anger and abuse of power when it comes to discrimination, racism, and ideology. It’s also a great touch that the directors chose people who are about the same age Anna was when she had to endure the hard times.
While both Mirren and Gatti bring many emotional and touching moments to the screen, the most poignant ones are certainly coming from the five survivors who are being interviewed during this documentary.
Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard, Arianna Szörenyi, Helga Weiss and sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci are five immensely strong and courageous women who survived the horrific Holocaust as children and who aren’t afraid of sharing the emotional stories with the world. No one should have ever gone through those barbaric and horrific happenings they had to endure.
Their strong voices are being accompanied by the ones from Michael Berenbaum (rabbi), Marcello Pezzetti (historian, teacher of Jewish Studies, Holocaust historian and director of the Holocaust Museum in Rome), Nathalie Zajde (French ethno-psychologist), Doris Grozdanovicova (witness), Fanny Hochbaum (witness), Francesca Dego (violinist), Basel Yves Kugelmann (journalist and member of the Anne Frank Fonds), Ronald Leopold (director of the Anne Frank House), Alain Granat (director of online magazine Jewpopo), and Simon Daval (photographer).
Many more extraordinary films and documentaries will be released soon as commemorations to the victims of the World War II. However, if there’s one documentary you need to see, it’s “#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories”.
In this multi-layered, unique and eye-opening documentary, the cruelty of the Second World War and the modern society are connected through poignant testimonies, hashtags and the most acclaimed diary in history.
“#AnneFrank. Parallel Stories” is released in selected cinemas from the 27th of January.