Review of Where’s Anne Frank, the new animated film by Ari Folman

Review of the new animated film by Ari Folman: Where’s Anne Frank, to be released in theaters on April 29, 2022.

The Israeli director Ari Folman is a genius: he has been demonstrating this in films such as Waltz with Bashir either The congress (one of those brave films that combine real images and animation), both developing themes of raging current affairs that we can extrapolate to the present moment.

In the last edition of the Sitges Film Festival, we had the opportunity to see his latest work: Where is Anne Frankan animated film that leads us to reinterpret the famous “Anne Frank’s Diary” as the ideal complement to the graphic novel released in 2017.

This was the first and only film that has had the support of the Anne Frank Foundation, based in Basel and created by Otto Frank, the girl’s father, in 1963. Thanks to this unprecedented event, Ari Folman has had privileged access to “Anne Frank’s Diary” and also to family archives and texts that are not in the public domain, hence respect for his memory is unappealable.

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Trailer of Where’s Anne Frank, the new film by Ari Folman

The turning point regarding the story that we already know is that the protagonist is not Anne Frank herself, but her imaginary friend Kitty, to whom the girl dedicated her diary. as if by magic, Kitty will come to life in contemporary Amsterdam and he will follow in the footsteps of his creator until he knows what his destiny was.

This, as viewers, gives us a whole new perspective by “taking us out” of the story to make us adopt a much more naive and innocent point of view.

On the one hand, there is the most important thing: the diary as a legacy of Anne’s memories and therefore as a historical document and on the other hand there is the most intimate part that unites Anne and Kitty, a kind of alter ego of herself, to the same as a defender of its humanist message in the XXI century.

Additionally, Where is Anne Frank it also has the virtue of pointing to today’s society and reshaping us as voracious “consumers” of its museum and belongings without leaving too much room for reflection or real empathy towards its person, with its defects and virtues.

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The two main strengths of Where is Anne Frank are, on the one hand, claim the importance of his legacy since her first-hand testimony leads Kitty to understand the harshness of the years she had to live.

In this way, the film is very educational and accessible to young audiences with recreations of the young woman’s past and her journey during the Holocaust.

And, on the other hand, relate the essence of the newspaper with the present: Folman makes a very uncomfortable but very pertinent comparison between the persecution suffered by the Jews during World War II and the migration crisis that has led to the displacement of millions of people due to confrontations that do not end up sneaking into the news today.

This message is even more timely than ever if we take into account that the violent Russian occupation of Ukraine has not only sparked fears of a Third World War but has also put on the table a whole debate about first and second class refugees. .

As far as the technical aspects are concerned, Where is Anne Frank It is a true wonder and a delight for the senses showing some hyper realistic backgrounds in which the most characteristic corners of Amsterdam can be recognized but you can also scrutinize more intimate places such as the Anne Frank house-museum or the underworld, where “undocumented” immigrants survive.

The quality of the animation is due to the talent of the illustrator Lena Guberman which has also used a new technique that combine static backgrounds with 2D animated figures: The technique is innovative and looks brilliant on screen.

Those who are afraid of finding a hard story, will be right, without a doubt, but it must also be said that Folman does not ignore humor either, to which he resorts as much as possible to showcase Anne Frank’s vivid imagination by bringing her dreams and fantasies to life.

To all of the above we must add the beautiful soundtrack by Karen O and Ben Goldwasser that accompanies the beautiful images of this eclectic film.

In short, Where is Anne Frank It is one of the most outstanding releases of the week. A moving film that demands attention and that he rightly uses his metalinguistic tone to talk to us about both the past and the present. The age rating recommends her for ages 12 and up, an ideal time to get closer to her brave musings.