The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank is one of the most famous books in the world and of course it is made into a movie more than once. Last week I saw the movie (a mini-serie by the BCC) by Jon Jones starring Ellie Kendrick, Iain Glen and Kate Ashfield a.o.
I think I shouldn’t explain what the movie’s about because I hope everyone already knows, but in order to give a good review I’ll give a short summary:
World War II, Amsterdam 1942. The 13-year-old Anne is Jewish and starts keeping a diary because she’s missing a best friend in her life. Life for Jews in Holland is getting worse every day. Jews are not allowed to go to the movies, drive a car, travel by tram… They are all aware that they can be sent to one of the labour camps. When Anne’s sister Margot receives the message she must go to one of the camps the family decides to hide. They move into ‘the annex’, a small house above the company of Anne’s father Otto. His employees risk their lives by taking care of them while they stay in until war is over. After a couple weeks the Van Daan family joins them and so does Mr. Dussel. They must be quiet during the day and cannot go outside or open a window. For two years they live in fear and boredom. Anne keeps writing her diary because ‘Kitty’ is the only person who’s not judging her all the time. While the years pass by Anne starts to fall in love with Peter van Daan. She notices that her body and thoughts are changing and she even kisses for the first time on the attic with Peter. When she’s writing her diary for the last time the police discovers them and takes them away to the camps. Someone has betrayed them.
Wow. What a movie. I was reading The Diary of a Young Girl at the time and I recognized everything that Anne wrote down. It is so confronting. I really liked how Anne’s thoughts and the actual scenes blended so perfectly. The anger that she shows in her diary isn’t really shown in the movie, but her good moods and feelings perfectly rendered. Ellie Kendrick did an amazing job performing Anne Frank. She acted like I pictured Anne when I was reading her diary. I’d loved to see more about the special connection with her father and the hate she feels for her mother, but for such a short movie they’ve done an amazing job showing what Anne Frank’s life was like. The romantic scenes are so good that I almost forgot I was watching a total different kind of movie and every time the hiders are scared you can really feel their fear. I cried my eyes out when they were caught by the police. The worst part is that their names, the camp they went to and their date of death is shown when they leave the annex. Otto is the only one who survived the camps and that is something we must never forget. So many innocent people got killed, just because of their race. This movie has given a face to some of those people. And just when you started to know them, they were taken away.
I give this movie a 9,5 out of 10. I think they could’ve done a better job when the movie would be a little bit longer, but those 100 minutes are worth watching it if you’d like to know what Anne Frank’s life was like.