In this essay, I will aim to discuss and analyse my chosen documentary ‘The Short Life of Anne Frank’ by Gerrit Netten, with cinema dramatization of real events ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ by Mark Herman. I will be focusing on how each director uses techniques to show true aspects of real life, and how this persuades the audience into believing that they are witnessing something accurate, and true to the directors intention.
Gerrit Netten’s 2001 documentary ‘The Short Life of Anne Frank’ and Mark Herman’s 2008 historical drama based film ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’, are both based on the innocence perceived through the vision of two children’s eyes and thoughts, surrounding the abhorred events that took place in German-occupied-Europe between 1941 and 1945. Though both motions follow the destructive situation that happened during those years of devastation, it is also apparent that both films are impressive yet contrasting pieces of work that show the personal cost of tragedy through innocence, and also through the director’s control of sound and image.
‘The Short life of Anne Frank’ is a twenty-eight-minute long look motion, which introduces the audience with a concise observation about the young German-Jewish girl’s life, and her own personal development through growing up, ambitions and desires, orderly documented in her diary; the dearest thing she held closest to her. We see in Netten’s documentary a brief overview of her productivity within German life with her family as she grew up, followed shortly by a very abrupt preface about the Anti-Semitic political party gaining power. The emphatic male commentary by Jeremy Irons alongside of this is profoundly informative yet powerful throughout the entire documentary, and creates an empathetic story with facile narration contributing to the impact of it. We see comments introduced such as:
“He (Hitler) wants Germans to be proud of their country. As he sees it, they need to unite under a strong leader because they are being threatened by enemies. According to the Nazis, the Jews are Germany’s greatest enemy, they portray Jews as dangerous.” (The Short Life of Anne Frank, 2001)
As an opening statement, the honesty of revealing the horrific truth of people’s views on such developments in such a simple way, emphasizes the brutality in a matter of minutes and examines the horrors of the lives that many were forced to lead under Nazi power, as well as gripping the audience’s attention with subjectivity. The voice of documentary is quite a vital part to convincing an audience that what they are endorsing is the truth, and with the stated comment from Irons as an example, it is easy to trust in what is being said as there is a durable ground in the way in which he communicates it. John Corner states that,
“Unless it is explicitly indicated otherwise in the film or programme, audiences will hold to a firm and comprehensive trust in the ‘truth’ of what they see. They will become the...