The diary of Anne Frank (2016)

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Original title Anne Frank's diary
Country of production Germany
original language German
Publishing year 2016
length 128 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
JMK 10
Director Hans Steinbichler
script Fred Breinersdorfer
production Walid Nakschbandi ,
Michael Souvignier
music Sebastian pill
camera Bella halves
cut Wolfgang Weigl

Anne Frank's Diary is a German literary film adaptation directed by Hans Steinbichler . The focus is on the world-famous diary of the Jewish girl Anne Frank who was murdered by the National Socialists in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp . The film, which focuses on her personal development, was released in theaters on March 3, 2016 in Germany and Austria. It premiered on February 16 at a special screening at the 66th Berlinale .


At first, Anne Frank lived as a happy, lively girl. She is happy that she can visit her relatives in Sils Maria . But the discriminatory measures taken by the National Socialists are making life in her new home, Amsterdam, increasingly difficult . As a Jew , she is increasingly marginalized. On her 13th birthday, she was given a diary , to which she immediately confided her thoughts in the form of letters to an imaginary friend. A few weeks later, at the beginning of July 1942, the family had to go into hiding after Anne's older sister Margot received an invitation to “labor service”.

Anne has to share the hiding place in the narrow rear building with her family and four other Jews. With her confident personality, she finds it difficult to be calm. She repeatedly gets into conflicts with adults, especially with Mrs. von Daan and Fritz Pfeffer, because she is wrongly criticized and feels not taken seriously. Later there is also an argument with her father Otto when she reveals that she loves him, "Pim", much more than her mother Edith.

Over time, the people in hiding have to survive critical situations again and again. While waiting for the Allies to invade , they face great fears during air raids on Amsterdam and break-ins in the camp below the hiding place. In addition, workers like van Maaren become skeptical when they hear noises above their workplace.

Anne not only develops her personality, but is also interested in her physical development as a young woman. She increasingly builds trust in Peter van Daan and falls in love with the boy. The first kiss and a few caresses take place. Otto sees this with concern and asks his daughter to hold back.

After the Jews in the Secret Annex are happy about the news of D-Day , they are discovered. On August 4, 1944, after an anonymous tip-off , SS Oberscharführer Karl Josef Silberbauer and four policemen came to Prinsengracht and got the eight Jews out of their hiding place. They are deported to Auschwitz via Westerbork . Except for Otto, all residents of the Secret Annex die in various concentration camps .

Production and Background

Shooting with Lea van Acken and Martina Gedeck in Amsterdam

Filming began on January 26, 2015 in the MMC studios in Cologne . Further recordings took place in Bavaria , Berlin and Brandenburg until March 2015 . There were a total of 43 days of shooting.

In Amsterdam , scenes were filmed on original locations like Merwedeplein, where the Frank family lived, before they went into hiding. The exterior shots, which show the Prinsengracht 263 in the film, were taken in the Leidsegracht, about one kilometer from the Prinsengracht. The Anne Frank House could not be used for this because its exterior had been changed too much since the 1940s. At some points in the film, recordings from different locations are combined within one scene. This becomes clear, for example, in the scene of the break-in; the recordings used for this were made in the Cologne studio (rear building), Kulmbach (warehouse of the Opekta company) and Amsterdam (exterior shot on the street).

The scenes that take place in the concentration camp were filmed in the building of a former spinning mill in Mainleus . The vacation scene was shot in Sils-Maria; The original Villa Laret can be seen in the background, which at the time belonged to Anne Frank's aunt Olga Spitzer. The beach scene was created on Norderney , with cool temperatures making the work difficult.

The members of the van Pels family are referred to in the film as Hans, Petronella and Peter van Daan. The film thus adopts the names that Anne Frank came up with as pseudonyms for her diary.

The producers Michael Souvignier and Walid Nakschbandi acquired the exclusive worldwide rights for film adaptations of the diary. They produced the film in co-production with Universal Pictures . The shooting was supported by the Anne Frank Fund in Basel , which manages the legacy of the Jewish girl. This gave the producers access to an extensive archive and research material. The Film- und Medienstiftung NRW funded the film with 1.2 million euros. Nakschbandi had previously produced the documentary drama My Daughter Anne Frank for television. This production enabled him to make the feature film, which had previously been refused funding. Like S. Fischer Verlag , in which the diary and several other books about Anne Frank appeared, his company AVE belongs to the Georg von Holtzbrinck publishing group .

With this film adaptation, the director Hans Steinbichler wants to appeal to the younger generation. According to his own statement, he wanted to tell the story “from the subjective and therefore authentic experience of a cheeky, extremely clever girl in puberty who has to grow up under ludicrous conditions.” Two things were important to him: “First, total subjectification and, second, that To translate the diary into a speaking. ”He achieves this by focusing on the scenes in which Anne Frank's personal development is shown. Thoughts from the diary are quoted verbatim and the protagonist often looks directly at the viewer.

Leading actress Lea van Acken prepared for her role by writing fictional letters to Anne Frank. For the final scene in the concentration camp, the actress had her hair shaved off for an authentic portrayal.

The film saw around 432,000 cinema-goers in Germany.


The film received the rating “Particularly valuable” from the German Film and Media Rating.

In a review in the Tagesspiegel, Peter von Becker praised the leading actress Lea van Acken, because she “embodies the premature awakening of girls who are forced to suppress all life longings in the transition from child to young woman in hiding: tight-lipped snippy, touchingly dreamy, then again without self-pity from Tenderness and anger for survival are recorded. ”At the same time, he misses a detailed background:“ The price of this close-up is of course also the narrowing of the film. The icon lacks the frame, the background. "

Jochen Kürten from Deutsche Welle compares the film with Steinbichler's self-formulated claims and regards the implementation as successful. At the end of his review, he emphasizes the current reference, which is valuable for young viewers: "Although [the film] adheres strictly to historical events, it also leaves room for the audience's mind games". Bernd Dörries also refers to Steinbichler's goal of portraying Anne Frank as a person, and writes in the Süddeutsche Zeitung : “Nothing is inflated, no monuments are built or messages are sent. It is the way it is, the way it was - and it can't get any stronger. The only way to get closer to Anne Frank than through the film is by reading her book. "

In the Indiewire blog The Playlist , Jessica Kiang emphasizes the fundamental difference between diary and film: “A diary is a work in the first person , while a film prefers the perspective of the third person, albeit partially. […] Your diary makes us think of Anne as a person; it hurts, indefinable, to see it as a plot. ”She also wonders what purpose the film fulfills and comes to the conclusion:“ As an extraordinary everyday girl, no one should find Anne Frank trapped in the amber of a historical biopic if she is on the page, in her own hand, so completely free. "

Bettina Steiner from Die Presse sees the film's greatest strength in the portrayal of everyday life, because that is where "the greatest horror of all, especially when we recognize our own life". At the same time, she criticizes the fact that the film does not end with the arrest. Despite the knowledge of the tragic end, the diary is “a document of hope, written for the time afterwards. Instead, the film shows - quite inappropriately - how the girls in the concentration camp have their hair shaved. "

Matthias Dell from Spiegel Online rates the film very negatively . He “is bored with his material. He zaps back and forth in a draw ”. Dell criticizes the bright colors and the "manipulative minor music". He comes to the conclusion: “The good thing about the boring administration of contemporary history through German film is that one can always excuse such strange things with ineptitude.” Andreas Kalb accuses Steinbichler of a missed opportunity at the FAZ . The director “should take the form of the diary seriously in terms of film and show all other people who appear in it except Anne Frank [...] as what they are for the diary writer: shaping their imagination. She would have to translate Anne Frank's loneliness and longing into lonely, longing images. Instead, Steinbichler, driven by his producers and [...] Fred Breinersdorfer, shot an ensemble and equipment film. "

Publication on DVD and Blu-ray

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 15, 2016 . As bonus material, the DVD contains an audio commentary by the director, a look behind the scenes, contributions to the story shown and the film premiere in Berlin, as well as teasers and trailers .

Web links

Commons : The Diary of Anne Frank (2016)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for The Diary of Anne Frank . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF). Template: FSK / maintenance / type set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Age rating for The Diary of Anne Frank . Youth Media Commission .
  3. a b c d e f On the set of "The Diary of Anne Frank" (AT), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW ( Memento from April 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive )
  4. ^ A b Ute Eschenbacher: Mainleus: shooting for Anne Frank film. Nordbayerischer Kurier , February 21, 2016, accessed on February 23, 2016 .
  5. a b Voor het eerst Duitse film over Anne Frank. NOS , March 9, 2015, accessed February 7, 2016 (Dutch).
  6. a b c audio commentary by the director Hans Steinbichler on the DVD
  7. a b Julia Schaaf: We can go out and live. (PDF) (No longer available online.) Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , February 21, 2016, archived from the original on February 23, 2016 ; accessed on February 23, 2016 .
  8. ^ Girls from Frankfurt. Frankfurter Neue Presse, November 28, 2015, accessed on February 7, 2016 .
  9. a b Jochen Kürten: New film adaptation of a famous subject: The diary of Anne Frank. Deutsche Welle , February 16, 2016, accessed on February 18, 2016 .
  10. a b Anna Wollner: "I realized how important moral courage is". (No longer available online.) RBB , February 16, 2016, archived from the original on February 17, 2016 ; accessed on February 22, 2016 .
  11. ^ The diary of Anne Frank. German film and media rating, accessed on September 19, 2016 .
  12. Peter von Becker: Tenderness and anger for survival. Der Tagesspiegel , February 16, 2016, accessed on February 17, 2016 .
  13. Bernd Dörries: Taken from the pedestal. Süddeutsche Zeitung , February 25, 2016, accessed on February 29, 2016 .
  14. Jessica Kiang: Berlin Review: Hans Steinbichler's 'The Diary Of Anne Frank'. The Playlist, February 20, 2016, accessed on February 22, 2016 : "a diary is a first-person work, while a film favors a third-person point of view, however partial. [...] Her diary is what makes us think of Anne as a person; it hurts, indefinably, to see her as a plot. "
  15. Jessica Kiang: Berlin Review: Hans Steinbichler's 'The Diary Of Anne Frank'. The Playlist, February 20, 2016, accessed on February 22, 2016 : “As history's extraordinary everygirl, no one should meet Anne Frank trapped in the amber of a historical biopic, when on the page, in her own hand, she was so completely free. "
  16. Bettina Steiner: Anne Frank: The horror shows in everyday life. Die Presse , March 1, 2016, accessed on March 1, 2016 .
  17. ^ Matthias Dell: Anne Frank Film: What school classes will be bored with in the future. Spiegel Online , March 3, 2016, accessed March 3, 2016 .
  18. Andreas Kalb: Victory of fear over love. FAZ , March 2, 2016, accessed on March 3, 2016 .