PictureThis Region 2 DVD comes at 1.33:1 ratio but the image is contained in a letter-boxed format within that frame. As a documentary, and a documentary which shows footage of WWII, I wasn't expecting too much; it's a good enough print and the encoding is up to the job but this was never going to reside on your demo shelf; that's not why this disc exists. The modern shots of Miep in the Anne Frank Museum are clean and crisp with some signs of edge enhancement and some blooming in the bright outdoor scenes. The historical shots of the Second World War are what you would expect; old black and white, tram line ridden, footage but still showing the depravity some sections of society lived in.
SoundEnglish is the only track on offer which is a shame, some more European languages would not have gone amiss and although Miep herself is speaking Dutch her words are translated by a third party. It's a Dolby Digital 2.0 track and it's all coming from the fronts; like the video there's nothing else really required here. Being a documentary it's a vocal piece and all of the dialogue is detailed and crisp and the viewer will not be straining to hear what's being said. There's not a lot else to say about this, the tonal range is obviously limited but again it's not required; the audio is suitable for this documentary.
ExtrasThe only extra on this disc is a narrated piece by Jeremy Irons, titled The Short Life of Anne Frank, and coming in at just over 29 minutes. In all honesty although I enjoyed the earlier documentary I preferred this one as it included a little more information about Anne Frank herself, her life before going into hiding and her life behind those self inflicted bars. In reality I don't think this disc should be regarded as a main feature then an extra; it should be viewed as two small documentaries on this young woman's life.
There is some repetition between this and the earlier piece but it does pad out some further information; more transcripts from her actual diary and I preferred the full narration as opposed to the on camera narration of Miep Gies. Both should be viewed as one piece but as there is a wealth of information on this young woman and her family then I can't help but think that there should have been more content on this sparse disc.
VerdictOn the whole I feel that this documentary has been done before and perhaps been done better; this does though have Miep Gies presenting and as one of the people who helped the Frank family in their time of greatest need that in itself makes this a good enough watch. To see the emotion in her face as she wanders the ghost ridden corridors of the Anne Frank Museum is a sobering experience in itself.
The additional documentary is more to my liking, I always prefer the faceless narration with scenes from WWII; probably a left over from watching The World at War all those many years ago. The documentary extra does double up at times but it does add something to this mix and even though this disc is a little sparse I still can't do anything other than recommend it, and recommend it to say the 10 - 14 age group, for them to try and see, try and experience in some minute way what Anne Frank felt during those fleeting years. Of course nothing could ever come close; but still Anne Frank has to be remembered and in a modern age where the written text is being replaced by video this Eureka presentation should grace anyone's collection.
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