Many books, films and documentaries have tried in some small part to relate this to today's audiences; history should never be forgotten as to do so is ultimately to make the mistakes which we have all experienced. Certainly the atrocities which the Nazi party inflicted on so many people should never, ever be forgotten so I welcome another disc recounting the story of one such unfortunate soul in that period. At one point reading Anne Frank's diary was part of the curriculum in schools, however that has now fallen by the wayside. With children generally reading less these days there are many documentaries on video which they can watch to at least give them some slight understanding of that terrible period in human history. The awesome World at War is one, the recent Nazis: A warning Through History another even the drama documentary Conspiracy, but for a younger audience it is the story of Anne Frank which is the most important. The brevity of that period is difficult for anyone, no matter a child, to comprehend or understand the enormity, the seriousness of what happened. With Anne Frank though children can at least try and see it through another child's eyes; can see and understand the emotions she was going through are much like theirs now; only hers were tainted with understanding that she, her family and her race were being hunted to extermination.
In 1942 Otto Frank informed Miep Gies, an employee of his, that he and his family were going to go into hiding within one of the upper floors of his factory, ultimately proving futile as they were still captured and murdered. Anne however wrote a diary during her incarceration, with Miep eventually giving this diary to Otto, the only remaining member of his family, once the war had come to a close. This documentary shows us Miep as she recounts her own experiences of that time.
The documentary covers all too briefly the initial period in the War's history and how that war eventually came to Holland, a country a lot of German Jews had escaped to during the start of the troubles in the late 1930s. After this we only get to hear Miep's views on how she and other colleagues helped the Frank family into hiding and from then on in helped supply them with the necessary food for survival. The small rooms where the Frank and Pels family hid out are shown in great detail with the majority of this documentary coming from the now Anne Frank Museum itself. Miep discusses each individual member of the Frank family, from Otto being warm and welcoming, to Anne being intelligent and full of life.
Throughout the filming you can see the pain on Miep's face as she regresses through her own personal history remembering her experiences of that time. She obviously had a good friendship with the Frank family and to see them go into hiding and ultimately arrested and taken away must have been a very difficult time her; being a Jewish sympathiser she too risked death for helping.
The documentary is short but even so it shows the studio apartment at the top of the factory where the Frank family resided for this short period of time. She shows the pictures on the wall which Anne had pinned there, much like all teenagers then and still now adorn their own walls with their pop or film icons. More I feel could have been said about Anne herself as there's too much history about Miep herself joining Otto's company and the relationship between herself and the Franks. Still this is a worthwhile watch, especially as I have said for younger generations so at least they know the name Anne Frank. It might spark some interest and get them reading her diary and hopefully learning more about the atrocities the Nazi party inflicted upon a large part of the world in the 30s and 40s.
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