WHERE IS ANNE FRANK (#TIFF21)
A stunning historical animated adventure is altogether informative, heartbreaking, and beautiful in a film that reinvigorates the story of Anne Frank for a whole new generation while proving that the lessons learned transcend time and are ever-applicable today.
When a storm hits Amsterdam, lightning strikes the glass case containing Anne Frank’s diary, leading to Anne’s imaginary friend Kitty, to whom the diary entries were largely written to, coming to life. Kitty, not knowing what had become of Anne and her family, sets off to find her. Where Is Anne Frank is incredibly moving and tender, exploring history through the innocent eyes of Kitty both in the present and the past. Juxtaposed against Anne’s story is the inclusion of a refugee character who strikes up a relationship with Kitty and serves as a vessel for application of historical lessons to todays realities. Though a heavy watch, the film is incredibly accessible for young and old alike and even feels whimsical at times, due largely in part to captivating music and flawless animation.
The creativity behind this project is wildly unique and important; this is a film that could certainly be shown in schools and become a cornerstone of teachings around the Holocaust and more. I found myself engrossed in ever move that Kitty made, especially when flashbacks showed Anne in the moments depicted within the journal. History holds the greatest lessons for us and, as it tends to repeat itself, we would be smart to revisit it.