TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Where is Anne Frank’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021 by - September 15, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Where is Anne Frank’

Where is Anne Frank blends two timelines. The first has Kitty (voice of Ruby Stokes), the imaginary correspondent in Anne Frank’s (Emily Carey) diary, looking for her best friend. The problem is that this is a fictional version of 2020 where Anne Frank’s name is on some buildings and structures in Amsterdam. The people she meets think, and understandably so, that she’s crazy. The second depicts the same city in the 1940s. It mostly takes place in the attic where Anne and a few families are hiding. And to its credit, the animation film doesn’t idealize her. Instead it paints the picture of what a Jewish teenager then was like. Namely, that a person who annoys her, Peter (Sebastian Croft), is someone she eventually likes.

Kitty’s story takes a back seat here even if Anne Frank depicts her on both timelines. There’s a lot of pluses and minuses both in the film’s characterizations and its aesthetics. Ari Folman probably has a better grip on the anti-Semitism than I do but the script describes the rise of those sentiments in 1930s Germany in an American way. But at least there’s some moments of levity in that there are some in the attic who annoy others and express that feeling in different ways. The animation also feels inconsistent in that movement isn’t its strong suit, and neither is crowds. But Folman’s combination of different textures and his use of shadows are something that makes me curious into looking into his acclaimed filmography.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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