A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Young people and future generations need to learn about the Holocaust, even though it's a hard subject -- so that they can make sure nothing like it happens again, learn about people's capacity for cruelty but also incredible resilience. Never give up hope. When you destroy a person, especially a child, you destroy all possibilities they might have become. Reading Anne Frank's diary, learning her story are effective ways for teens to connect with past.
Positive Role Models
Anne Frank was an ordinary teen in many ways, but also had remarkable capacity for staying hopeful during trying times. The women who survived Holocaust have been able to pass their stories down to descendants so that they feel connected to the people who are gone, to a huge and tragic event in human history, in a real and personal way. Unnamed modern teen who travels to important locations in various stories models curiosity, empathy, compassion, a thirst for knowledge.
Violence & Scariness
Photos and movie footage show many horrors of the Holocaust, including emaciated and beaten bodies and corpses, bodies and people being dragged and dumped, emaciated sick people stumbling around dazed. Sound effects include gunshots, scary noises. Survivors remember gas chambers, crematoria, hearing batons smashing, being beaten with rubber whips that had iron wire inside, various forms of cruelty and torture. Medical experimentation, especially on twins, is mentioned. Some non-graphic footage of Dr. Josef Mengele with his subjects.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Excerpts read from Anne Frank's diary mention getting her first period, discovering her sexuality, some kisses, romantic feelings.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A few people smoking in vintage movie footage.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that #AnneFrank - Parallel Stories is an emotional documentary about Anne Frank and several women who are the same age as Frank but who survived the Holocaust. It's narrated in English with subtitles for several different languages in interviews. Pictures and movie footage show many of the horrors, including emaciated people and corpses and people and bodies being dragged and dumped in piles or mass graves. Survivors remember atrocities like beatings and torture. "S--t" is heard, and people smoke in vintage film. Excerpts read from Anne Frank's diary mention getting her first period, discovering her sexuality, some kisses, and romantic feelings. It's difficult to watch at times, but messages are ultimately positive about young people and future generations making real connections to this almost unfathomable event, the resilience of the human spirit, the value of knowledge, and the importance of never giving up hope. It should be an effective way for teens to relate to people and events from the past. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This moving and compelling documentary gives teens a gentle but unblinking way to learn about the Holocaust and make personal, emotional connections to the past. In #AnneFrank - Parallel Stories, Helen Mirren does a wonderful job bringing Anne's voice and character to life when she reads excerpts from the famous diary. The well-written narration and Mirren's skill convey facts and events without bogging down or losing any emotional connection to the story.
Teens especially are invited to make personal connections with history through the young traveler known as @KaterinaKat. She never speaks, but her fictional, thoughtful social media posts provide a relatable way for teens to accompany her on her journey. She provides the framework for meeting with survivors, going to actual locations, and reading Anne Frank's diary that help us process the powerful emotions we all feel when we tackle this difficult subject.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.