The Diary Of Anne Frank


REVIEW by Harriet Robbins

LOS ANGELES -- The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently screened a freshly restored version of THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, a 1959 20th Century Fox feature directed by George Stevens, before a full house at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre. (The film is also out on DVD).

Shelley Winters won an Oscar for her performance as Mrs. Van Dahn (and donated the statue to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam). I invited my thirteen-year-old grand-daughter, Marine, to the screening. She was studying the history of the Holocaust and was eager to see the film and participate in the occasion.

I agreed that it was important for her to watch the film. The depiction of a small group of people hiding in a confined space from the Nazis has much to teach a young person. Their ultimate fate--they were betrayed by an informer, leaving only one of them, Anne's father Otto, alive--has endured to this day, thanks to the diary that young Anne kept during those torturous years. Anne had the courage and determination to remind us of the heart and soul of human beings. Their strengths and frailties, their indomitable spirit, shines through the ordeal described by Anne, despite all the horrors they endured.

The words Anne left us will live on as a reminder of all that is good and decent in life. Thanks to her we can find the strength and courage to triumph over the evil in this world of ours.

Anne's story has been told and retold many times, as well it should. It is a beacon for all to follow when life becomes dark. Marine agreed that despite the tragic ending of the film, its screening was a memorable occasion, one that will remain in the hearts and minds of the audience.

See THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK or read it. It's Anne's legacy to us all.