By: Alex Phuong (Two Beers) –
The Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in history. Happening simultaneously with World War II, it was indeed one of the “darkest hours” ever, and even inspired the film Darkest Hour (2017 and pun intended). This review is not supposed to be funny, though, because this TV Mini-Series review is a dedication to one of the most iconic people who died during the Holocaust, which is none other than “Anne Frank.”
This is one of the best TV mini-series productions ever made (in my opinion) in spite of the difficult subject matter that it explores. A film version of Anne Frank’s turbulent life during the war was already made in 1959, but that black-and-white classic is only part of her story. That is because this mini-series attempts to present what happened in Anne Frank’s life before going into hiding as well as imagine what her life must have been like inside a concentration camp.
This production also features Golden Globe-nominated performances from Hannah Taylor Gordon as the titular heroine, Academy Award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley as Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank (which earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award that same year), and the coveted Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. This TV movie is an amazing production that also earned several awards and nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards as well, including “Outstanding Miniseries.” Hannah Taylor Gordon offers one of the best performances of her career as Anne Frank, and she even looks just like Anne Frank! This TV mini-series is filled with drama that is as riveting as the diary written by one of the most famous published authors of all time.
Warning: There is a lot of mature themes and content throughout this TV mini-series, including brief nudity that an announcer discloses at the beginning of the series. That is because the mini-series depicts life in concentration camps with painfully historical accuracy. This mini-series may not be suitable for younger audiences, so viewer discretion is DEFINITELY advised!
The “Final Solution” resulted in the senseless death of countless people, many of whom were very young. Anne Frank might have died from typhus at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, but her legacy lives on because of her profound insight into human nature that she wrote within her diary. “Gone but not forgotten” is the perfect phrase for Anne Frank and the people within her life, and hopefully audiences can learn valuable life lessons about the dangers associated with prejudice and discrimination after watching this TV mini-series. Many educators teach history simply because students can learn to not repeat mistakes from the past, and hopefully the Holocaust will never happen ever again.
Anne Frank: The Whole Story (TV Mini-Series 2001) Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: for every scene featured in The Diary of a Young Girl (even though the filmmakers could not directly quote from the diary because Anne Frank’s cousin, Bernd Elias, did not approve of this production)
Drink a Shot: every time Anne Frank undergoes the tension associated with being a teenager (including puberty)
Have Another Shot: for each dark and depressing moment that is shockingly realistic
And Do Not Be Sober: during the ending/epilogue that describes the fates of the many real-life people in this mini-series (as of 2001)