Anne Frank’s estate has given its blessing for director Ari Folman to bring her story to life, in a new animated feature based on her diary.
The man behind the multiple award winning animation Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman has the full backing of Anne Frank’s estate to make an animated feature aimed at children. As a man who is unfamiliar with targeting a younger demographic, this will be a challenge. One he is more than willing to accept. The Oscar-nominated Israeli filmmaker has said of the untitled project:
“Bringing the Anne Frank diary to all screens is a fantastic opportunity and challenge,” he told the Hollywood Reporter. “There is a real need for new artistic material to keep the memory alive for younger generations.”
Adults may be wary of a feature designed to teach children about Anne Frank’s tragic tale – Jewish born, she kept a diary of her life while in hiding during Nazi occupation in Amsterdam, until she and her family were discovered and killed – but we should remember that any such film can only be made with the estate’s blessing. Permission would not be granted if the interpretation was distasteful to the source material and inappropriate for the audience. Plus, you can always turn it off.
More importantly, Forman would seem to be the ideal candidate to make a film of such sensitive – and greatly loved – material. He is the son of Holocaust survivors and his 2008 animation Waltz with Bashir masterfully handled the controversial issue of a massacre of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians, with possible Israeli collusion, during the Lebanese Civil War in 1982.
Production is due to start in late 2014. Folman will be starting on a high, considering he just won the animation prize at the European Film Awards for The Congress, a futuristic satire on Hollywood.
How do you feel about a new film about Anne Frank? Is animation the right medium for her story?