Anne Frank Remembered (1995)

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Anne Frank Remembered is a 1995 documentary film by Jon Blair about the life of the diarist Anne Frank. The documentary was made in association with Anne Frank House, Walt Disney Pictures and the British Broadcasting Corporation. It was originally screened as a TV documentary, but was later given a theatrical release by Sony Pictures.

The film is narrated by Kenneth Branagh and extracts from Frank's diary are read by Glenn Close. The choice of an adult reader is unusual in representations of Anne Frank; Blair has explained that he read Frank's diary as a child, and had a very clear image of what she was like, and found that the use of children's voices robbed the viewer of their own impression of Anne Frank.

Miep Gies, the woman who had helped shelter the family, and who had saved the diary after the group was betrayed, collaborated with Blair and is interviewed about her memories of hiding the Frank family. Blair also uses interviews with Hanneli Goslar and Jaqueline van Maarsen, two of Anne Frank's friends, and notably uses archive interviews of Otto Frank to retell Anne's story.

The film also records the first meeting between Miep Gies and Werner Peter Pfeffer, the son of Fritz Pfeffer ("Albert Dussel" in the Diary), who died 2 months after the filming. In a moving scene, filmed as it happened, a tearful Pfeffer offers "Vielen Dank" ("many thanks") to Gies for her efforts to save his father.

Blair filmed in the real locations of Frank's life; including the neighbourhood Anne grew up in, the "Achterhuis" of Prinsengracht 263 (where she and her family lived in hiding) in Amsterdam, and the Westerbork and Auschwitz Concentration Camps. Blair commented that Auschwitz had been filmed a number of times, for many reasons, however he wanted to suggest something of the "ghosts" of the people that had passed through there, and so he determined that the only way to do this would be to film at night. He was also able to obtain a train similar to those used during World War II to recreate the scenes of people being transported to Auschwitz.

As the film was made in association with Anne Frank House, it was able to include the only known film footage taken of Anne Frank. The short film was made in 1941 of a wedding in the Amsterdam suburb where the Frank family lived. The camera cuts for just seven seconds to a balcony, where Anne Frank stands watching the bride and groom on the footpath below.

The film won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1996. The award was jointly collected by Jon Blair and Miep Gies, who received a standing ovation.

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