1 July 2001 | williamknott
Knock out of your complacency
The Diary of Anne Frank is the second best-selling nonfiction book in the world, and for good reason. Nonetheless, sitting through this documentary about her life, which fills in some of the details where the diary left off, I thought, "Just another documentary about Anne Frank." I found it to be competent but not extraordinary. That was my complacent attitude because I was already well aware of the story of Anne Frank; most of what the documentary had to tell me wasn't news to me.
Everything changed, though, when I got to the end of the documentary---when I saw the motion picture footage of Anne Frank. The emotional impact of seeing this footage, only a second or so long, made everything that came before it a thousand times more real---but not just everything that was in the documentary; everything I had previously known about Anne Frank suddenly became more real to me, more personal. I'd always been moved by her story, but when I saw that footage, what I felt was stronger and deeper and more profound than any other film experience of my life. (I knew beforehand that this documentary contained live footage of Anne Frank, and I'd even seen the footage in a movie review on television, but seeing it in the context of the documentary was a completely different experience. It's not likely that my mentioning it here will spoil it for anyone.)
I realize now that many people still don't know the story of Anne Frank; it's discouraging at times to be witness to this kind of ignorance. I think to myself, "How could someone NOT know the story of Anne Frank?" This being the case, though, ANNE FRANK: REMEMBERED, along with reading her diary, is the best place to start. It's a story that everyone should know.