January 21, 2023
A powerful graphic adaptation of Anne Frank’s Diary revives her iconic story. Making extensive use of Anne’s own words to complement the creative visuals, the graphic novel offers a haunting glimpse of the real life experiences of Jewish inhabitants of the Secret Annex hiding from Nazis during WWII.
The graphic novel echoes the key tensions and imports Anne’s indomitable wit from the original diary. Vivid illustrations and candid quotes convey her hopes and dreams as well as her struggles to adjust to the narrow confines of a life spent in hiding. Told in her acerbic voice, Anne’s story touches on how everyone in the household deals with living in cramped quarters amid the horrors outside which threaten their very existence.
Anne’s witty insights add colour to her interactions with family. Her nuanced exploration of romantic feelings and sexual questions remind us of typical teen concerns amid the destruction. Understandably, Anne experiences bouts of depression. Her dreams register the nightmarish impact of the threat.
Anne and her family were captured toward the end of the war, after the end of the diary. Though she could not predict her fate, Anne writes with heightened awareness of a critical moment in time. The graphic adaptation renews a complex portrayal that should “serve to remind us of the truly human face of genocide.”