Anne Frank: The Whole Story [2001]

Genre: Biography, Drama, War
Anne Frank: The Whole Story delivers exactly what it promises: the incredibly moving complete story of Anne Frank, going beyond what the Jewish teenage girl wrote in her widely read diary. Anne, along with her family and friends of her family, hid in a secret annex behind her father's office in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation of Holland. She dutifully kept a diary, which became a worldwide bestseller when her father published it in the 1950s. The story has been adapted for television and movies before, but this version, which played on ABC television, moves beyond what Anne wrote, meeting up with the Frank family before Anne receives her diary, and following her past the diary's last entries into Auschwitz and Birkenau. Hannah Taylor Gordon is a superb Anne, bringing to life the multifaceted girl, in turns intelligent, dreamy, creative, spoiled, and bratty, a girl like any other except that Anne is a Jew in Nazi-occupied Holland. The only one who outshines Gordon is Ben Kingsley as Anne's father, Otto Frank. His quiet performance is extraordinarily powerful; as he watches his family slip away, it is impossible not to feel his grief. This brave film is difficult in parts to watch--the concentration camp scenes are brutal--but this is a remarkable adaptation of Anne's life, and it is a film to be shared and discussed and remembered. --Jenny Brown

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