DMovies - Your platform for thought-provoking cinema

#AnneFrank: Parallel Stories

Director - Sabina Fedeli, Anna Migotto - 2020

"Greasy movie"
The story of Anne Frank is packaged for the smart phone generation in this robust, albeit familiar documentary featuring Helen Mirren - in cinemas on January 27th (Holocaust Memorial Day)

Josef Stalin is reputed to have said, one death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic.Now, quoting a brutal dictator may seem dubious in the review of an Anne Frank documentary, but Stalin’s aphorism contained an unpleasant truth; it is much easier to empathise with the death of one or several individuals than the slaughter of millions, and the Holocaust was the greatest slaughter of them all – where does one begin to comprehend the suffering?

Primo Levi would echo this sentiment years later: ‘One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows.’ With #AnneFrank: Parallel Stories, filmmakers Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto seek to bring this tragically human facet of the Holocaust to the social media generation, especially young women.

This objective is highlighted by scenes of a young girl (Martina Gatti) visiting the sites of Anne’s life and the wider Holocaust, documenting her travels online with the handle @KaterinaKat. A shallow gimmick, some may think, but there’s a good chance it will resonate with its target audience.

The bulk of Parallel Stories is steered by Helen Mirren, who provides narration and readings of Anne’s diary. Mirren’s status lends sizeable heft to the documentary’s profile, but her recitals can be overly thespian. In fact, the film is best when it steps back from Anne Frank and its star narrator and documents the testimonies of five fellow Holocaust survivors: Arianna Szörenyi, Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard, Helga Weiss and sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci.

These ladies recount terrible hardship and suffering, but they do so with strength, defiance and even humour. They have beaten their oppressors and led long, fruitful lives. Especially characterful is Sarah, who has such a cheerful energy that she breaks into song on one occasion. The only strain of sadness running through these interviews is that Anne Frank would be the same age as these ladies if she was here today.

#Anne Frank: Parallel Stories contains no revelations, but it is compelling enough to be procured by teachers and museum curators. It is out in UK and Irish Cinemas from 27th January to coincide with Holocaust Memorial Day.



"Greasy movie"

By Jack Hawkins - 15-01-2020

By Jack Hawkins - 15-01-2020

Jack Hawkins is a film and history writer bas...

DMovies Poll

Are the Oscars dirty enough for DMovies?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Most Read

Forget Friday the 13th, Paranormal Activity and the [Read More...]
Just a few years back, finding a film [Read More...]
A lot of British people would rather forget [Read More...]
A small family of four lives in a [Read More...]
Pigs might fly. And so Brexit might happen. [Read More...]
Holidaying in Cambodia with Isaac (Ross McCall), Ben [Read More...]

Read More

10 films that depict the post-Holocaust experience

 

Jack Hawkins - 25-06-2019

Jack Hawkins lists 10 dirty movies that are preoccupied with the aftermath of the systematic extermination of Jews during WW2 in Europe [Read More...]

Back to Berlin

Catherine Lurie
2018

Redmond Bacon - 22-11-2018

Detailing the journey of 11 bikers taking the torch to the 2015 European Maccabi games in Berlin, sombre documentary lays bare the worst atrocity to ever occur in human history - now available on VoD [Read More...]

Cinema meets fashion: The smell of the Quay Brothers

 

Jeremy Clarke - 09-04-2020

London-based highly idiosyncratic stop-frame animation twins used their unique sensibilities to create a short film for fashion house Comme des Garçons' perfume Wonderwood - this is our second article for the brand new magazine DOESN'T EXIST [Read More...]

Facebook Comment

Website Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *