To make matters worse, when I initially saw the footage, I thought the part with Branko Lustig had been inserted from another documentary without his permission. Seems I was wrong.
Here’s an exclusive first-look at Anne Frank: Then And Now, which explores the lives of Anne Frank and the eight Palestinian girls cast to play her in a retelling of Frank’s famous diary. Part drama and part documentary, it was shot in Arabic with English subtitles. The film was shooting in Gaza in July when the Israel-Gaza war broke out, sending cast and crew scrambling for cover from incoming Israeli airstrikes. More than 500 Palestinian children and one Israeli child were killed during the seven-week conflict. The film, which is seeking distribution, was directed by Jakov Sedlar and produced by Auschwitz survivor and two-time Oscar-winning producer Branko Lustig (Schindler’s List, Gladiator). Anne Frank was written and co-directed by Sedlar’s son, Dominik Sedlar.
More from the publicity material:
Now, 70 years since the Frank family were discovered in hiding, What Does Anne Frank Mean Today? is a fascinating look at Anne Frank’s life and diary and how the words and thoughts of this exceptional young woman in hiding have relevance in today’s world.
Shot entirely on location amidst the turmoil of Gaza, Ramallah, Jaffa and Kosovo, the film takes a modern look at how relevant her thoughts and dreams are for young people in these regions today through conversations with ordinary Palestinian youths who talk about love, their first kiss and other subjects covered in Frank’s diary.
Sedlar faced many challenges shooting during the most recent conflicts in Gaza, trying to shoot scenes in between bombings and was witness to horrific images of war.
The film will have six young Palestinian actresses portraying Anne Frank between the ages of 12 and 14 and Sedlar hopes that the film being done in Arabic (with English subtitles) will ‘open some eyes.’ ‘We must not repeat history,’ Sedlar adamantly vows.
I am truly saddened some of those who say ‘Never Again’ are helping the cause of those who want ‘Again.’