‘#AnneFrank’ and other films mark Holocaust Remembrance Day

The film will also be shown at the Jerusalem Theater from April 7 to10 and at the Haifa Cinematheque on April 8.

Anne Frank at her writing table in 1940; how many Anne Franks were lost in the Holocaust? (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Anne Frank at her writing table in 1940; how many Anne Franks were lost in the Holocaust?
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
 It is complex to figure out how to introduce today’s social-media-focused younger generation to the Holocaust, but the documentary #AnneFrank: Parallel Stories, which is being shown on YesDocu on April 7 at 10:30 p.m. and on YesVOD and StingTV to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day (which falls this year on Thursday) presents Frank’s story in a way that will make it vivid to them.
The film will also be shown at the Jerusalem Theater from April 7 to10 and at the Haifa Cinematheque on April 8.
Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren tells the life story of Frank through excerpts she reads from the famous diary. One of the world’s greatest actresses, Mirren’s readings are moving and engaging.
The film, which was directed by Sabina Fedeli and Anna Migotto, is framed with a visit to the Bergen-Belsen camp where a young woman on a visit with a youth group learns of Frank’s story and posts about it in social media. This may sound like a gimmick but it is effective.
The film focuses on Anne’s youth and her hopefulness, by showing photos of her and emphasizing details of her life, such as the fact that she covered the walls of her bedroom in her family’s hiding place with photos of movie stars, the Dutch royal family and figure skater Sonja Henie.
Frank’s story alternates with interviews with five Holocaust survivors, Arianna Szörenyi, Sarah Lichtsztejn-Montard, Helga Weiss and sisters Andra and Tatiana Bucci. These women, who were all around Frank’s age during the Holocaust, give a sense of the kind of woman she might have become had she lived.
The film also looks at conditions in the Bergen-Belsen camp, where Frank and her sister, Margot, died of typhus just before the end of the war. While the movie takes pains to make the Holocaust accessible to young people and teens, it does not try to hide the horrors in any way. There are film clips of the British liberating Bergen-Belsen, including graphic shots of these troops forcing German residents of the town next to the camp to bury the corpses of the Jews who died there in mass graves, which may well have included the Frank sisters. The movie was made in 2019 to commemorate what would have been Frank’s 90th birthday.
IN ADDITION to #AnneFrank, the day will be marked by showings of other Holocaust-related films, both dramas and documentaries.
The Jerusalem Cinematheque is showing #uploading_holocaust on April 7 at 6:30 p.m., a documentary by Sagi Bornstein and Udi Nir that explores high-school students’ journeys to concentration camps in Poland through tens of thousands of videos uploaded by the participants to YouTube, which are an interesting look into what students get out of this Israeli-rite-of-passage.
Cellcom TV will have a Yad Vashem Channel for 48 hours that will feature extensive testimonies of Holocaust survivors, for the second year in a row. It is also showing dozens of Holocaust-themed feature films and documentaries, among them Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, Avi Nesher’s Past Life and the autobiographical films written by actress Gila Almagor, The Summer of Aviya and Under the Domim Tree.
HOT8 is showing a number of Holocaust-themed documentaries throughout the day.
Chen Shelach’s Muranow is a look at the Muranow neighborhood in Warsaw, which was once a flourishing and important center of Jewish life. During World War II, the neighborhood was turned into the Warsaw Ghetto, and when the war ended, it was rebuilt. Still, the influence of the former Jewish ghosts is felt in the neighborhood to this day, and some residents think it is actually haunted. Muranow will also be shown at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque on April 8. 
Nuremberg: The Nazis on Trial is a new look at that court proceeding in which the crimes committed by the Nazis were discussed and analyzed.
One Day in Auschwitz looks at a single day at that death camp through photos taken by Nazi photographers and features interviews with survivors who recognize themselves in the pictures.
Golda Maria presents an interview Patrick Sobelman filmed with his grandmother, Golda Maria Tondovska, about her life and how she survived the Holocaust. In 2020, Patrick and his son, Hugo, made this personal account into a film.
KAN 11 will show Roman Shumunov’s new documentary, Bernshtein – Journey to the Light, at 9:15 p.m. on April 7. It is the story of a partisan named Leonid Bernstein and his unique story.